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The 1-3 Falcons are headed to Texas to face DeSean Watson and the 2-2 Texans this Sunday. The Texans, who came in looking strong, held to only 10 points by the Panthers in their last game. The Panthers defense held Watson to only 160 passing yards, his second lowest on the season. Meanwhile, the Falcons lost their fourth game of the season to the Titans, despite a great performance from Matt Ryan. With the Texans pass defense ranked pretty low in the league, Matt Ryan has the opportunity to have another great game. However, the Falcons have had a tough time capitalizing on the opportunities Ryan has given them. Overall, the Texans are the favorites in this game despite Watson’s poor numbers last week, due in part to an aggressive Panthers pass rush that the Falcons simply cannot match. However, the Falcons have a chance if they can capitalize on the great play of Matt Ryan. For odds line movement, and full matchup history, see the Atlanta Falcons vs Houston Texans Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, October 6, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM PST
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Falcons: Blidi Wreh-Wilson (O), Kenjon Barner (O), Jamon Brown (O), Damontae Kazee (Q), Matt Bosher (O), Kaleb McGary (Q), Alex Mack (Q), Wes Schweitzer (Q), Grady Jarrett (Q)
Texans: Kenny Stills (Q), Greg Mancz (O), Tashaun Gipson Sr. (Q)
Atlanta Falcons Analysis
The Falcons have been an interesting case this year. Matt Ryan is 4th in the league for passing yards with 1,325 on the year and 2nd in the league for yards per game, with 331.2. However, the Falcons are 1-3. They’re also tied for 26th in the league for most points scored, with 70. The Falcons are one of two teams who fall in the top 10 for passing yards and still have a losing record, the other team being the Bengals. The Falcons simply haven’t been able to capitalize on the opportunities that Matt Ryan has been able to give them. Where the problem lies, I’m not sure, whether it be in the coaching or in Ryan himself. When your quarterback goes 35/53 for 397 yards and your team only scores 10 points, there’s a problem. The Texans secondary is pretty good, but ranked lower than the Titans, so Matt Ryan is expected to have a big game. Whether or not they’ll be able to capitalize on those big numbers is a better question.
If the Falcons’ pass rush can step their game up on Sunday, the Falcons might have a fighting chance. The Texans allowed 6 sacks in week 4, part of the reason Watson was held to so few yards. They’ve allowed 18 sacks on the season which puts them in a tie for 30th in the NFL. The Falcons’ pass rush hasn’t been playing too well this season, with only 5 sacks over the past 4 games. If they’re able to step up their game and put a lot of pressure on DeSean Watson, they might be able to shut him down like the Panthers did in week 4, taking some of the pressure to score a lot of points off of the offense.
Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart
Houston Texans Analysis
It seems that the Texans’ weakest link is their pass blocking. As said before, they’re tied for third in the league for most sacks, and allowed 6 last week against Carolina. DeSean Watson is a talented quarterback, there’s no doubt about that. However, even the most talented quarterbacks in the league need a strong offensive line if they’re going to get anything done. The Texans offensive line might catch a break in this game, as the Falcons have a bottom-ten pass rush. DeSean Watson is capable of putting up pretty big numbers. DeAndre Hopkins should have a big game against the Falcons. He was covered pretty effectively against the Jaguars and the Panthers, but the Falcons’ pass defense isn’t as strong as these two. While Hopkins has shown he can be covered, the Falcons are really going to need to step up their game to make it happen on Sunday.
The Texans got their running game going against the Panthers, Carlos Hyde getting 12 carries for 58 yards, and Duke Johnson getting 6 carries for 56 yards. Duke Johnson was especially impressive with his efficiency, getting 9.3 yards per carry on average. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep that trend going against the Falcons. Atlanta has only allowed an average of 3.7 yards per carry this season, so it’ll be tough for the Texans to run the ball. Therefore, they’ll probably be sticking to the air, where I think they’ll be able to rack up some big points and defeat the Falcons.
Houston Texans Depth Chart
Look out for DeAndre Hopkins in this game. Despite the poor numbers the Texans pass offense put up last week against the Panthers, I think they’re in for a big game against the Falcons. The Falcons pass rush isn’t going to be good enough to shut down Hopkins or the Texans passing game in general, so he should be expecting to get big yardage and possibly a touchdown or two. Matt Ryan is also a safe bet in this game. The Texans pass defense is ranked lower in the league, and Matt Ryan has put up big numbers against secondaries better than theirs. He’s likely to get a lot of points for your fantasy team. He did fail to score a touchdown last week, however, so keep that in mind before deciding to add him to your roster for Sunday.