The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and CineSport’s Noah Coslov preview Falcons-Titans by talking about the Falcons biggest question, the Titans QB situation and what Atlanta can fix this week.
1. THANK YOU NOTE: Falcons left guard Andy Levitre may want to send the Titans a “Thank You” note for trading him to the Falcons before the start of the season.
Instead of riding the bench on a 1-4 team, he’s starting for a 5-1 team.
The Titans, who have been hit with a rash of injuries, probably wish they’d kept Levitre at this point.
With the Falcons set to face the Titans on Sunday, Levitre had no hard feeling about his former team.
“This has worked out great for me,” Levitre said. “I’m glad to be here. It’s a great group of guys. I’m excited to continue to work with them.”
Really? No hard feelings, at all.
“No, it’s business and I understand that,” Levitre said.
Levitre doesn’t plan to get too fired about the Titans.
“The same way that I’ve dealt with every game, prepare the same way that I would,” Levitre said when asked if he was looking forward to facing the Titans. “It comes down to getting that work in at practice and doing what we can do to best of our ability.”
Levitre and the play of the offensive line has been one of the keys to the Falcons’ fast start.
“It’s just kind of spending that time together,” Levitre said. “Being in the meeting rooms together. Communicating on and off the field. Just kind of developing relationships so that when we get on the field, it becomes natural.”
2 . PASS RUSH OPP: The Falcons should have a chance to get some pressure and sacks against the Titans, who have given up 20 sacks this season.
3. OFFENSIVE PLAN: Left tackle Jake Matthews, who’s off to a strong start this season, believes the offense can get back on track against the Titans.
“When we get opportunities, we have to make sure that we get points out of those,” Matthews said. “We can definitely move the ball, but the game obviously comes down to points. We had opportunities in this last game, but it didn’t work out.
“I’m excited for the opportunity this week to go out and proving that.”
4. QUINN ON EVEN KEEL: A lot of folks were wonder how first-year head coach Dan Quinn would handle his first lost in the NFL.
The players haven’t noticed a difference.
“Not really at all,” Matthews said. “He’s the same as he’s always been. That’s good.”
5. TURNOVERS: Quinn was not pleased that Falcons did not create a turnover against the Saints.
“We definitely have to get the ball,” Cornerback Desmond Trufant said. “That’s one of the keys to our success in our wins. We’ve been getting the ball and scoring on defense. We definitely have to get back to it.”
Trufant believe the pass rush has led to some turnovers.
“It definitely makes it easy for us when the quarterback is under pressure,” Trufant said. “When you get the quarterback off the spot, their percentages drop. That’s a known fact around the league. We’ve been doing a great job, we just have to put it all together.
6. U.S.S. BABINEAUX: Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux shared his thoughts on the pass rush:
“We just have to get back in the rhythm,” Babineaux said. “Continue to work on the small things, the detailed things. All of the things that we do in practice and transition them to the game. If we just continue to work on them, I think we’ll be all right.”
If time permits, the Falcons defensive linemen have to used their counter moves.
“Just having a different move,” Babineaux said. “If one move doesn’t work, you have to have next move to back it up in order to be effective in the pass rush. I think we all know how to do it. It’s just a matter of reacting and doing it.”
7. BEASLEY HAPPY FOR JARRETT: Falcons first-round pick Vic Beasley is happy for fifth-round pick Grady Jarrett, who’s getting his playing time increased.
“I’m definitely looking forward to Grady getting out on the field more,” Beasley said. “He’s definitely been wrecking havoc in the plays that he is out there.”
8. JARRETT ON THE PASS RUSH: Jarrett had his thoughts on the Falcons pass rush, too.
“Just go back to work,” Jarrett said. “We are always trying to improve. We want to improve our pass rush and get more tackles for losses. We’ve got the guys to do it. We are just going back to work every day. We are excited for that challenge. We know that we can get it done. That’s why we have the confidence, we do as a defensive line and as a front-seven of the unit.”
9. OFFICIAL DEPTH CHART: Center Mike Person appears ready to return to the lineup. Linebacker Justin Durant is also close.
Wide receiver Justin Hardy , who’s been inactive for all six games, is coming along fine and is ready to play. The Falcons are just loaded at wide receiver. They’ll also have to make a decision when Devin Hester returns for Week 13.
How did the Falcons get to 5-1?
Here’s a look back at the game stories, news and notes from their loss to the Saints (31-21) and their victories over the Redskins (25-19 in OT), Texans (48-21), Cowboys (39-28), Giants (24-20) and Eagles (26-24).
NEW ORLEANS GAME COVERAGE — Saints 31, Falcons 21
WASHINGTON GAME COVERAGE — Falcons 25, Redskins 19 in OT
TEXANS GAME COVERAGE — Falcons 48, Texans 21
COWBOYS GAME COVERAGE — Falcons 39, Cowboys 28
GIANTS GAME COVERAGE — Falcons 24, Giants 20
EAGLES GAME COVERAGE — FALCONS 26, EAGLES 24