NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell has examined the Atlanta Falcons on tape this season. Here are 10 things to watch as the Eagles play the Falcons on Sunday at 1 PM.
Falcons On Offense
1. Wide receiver Julio Jones is so effective on in-breaking routes, especially versus Cover 3 with the corner playing with outside technique. His combination of size and speed makes him so difficult to play from the outside in.
2. Running back Devonta Freeman has outstanding stop-and-start quickness and lateral explosion. He is a good a change-of-direction back as there is in the NFL.
3. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is doing an outstanding job with route concepts and combinations to define the throws for quarterback Matt Ryan within the timing of the drops.
4. The Falcons are very diverse with their formations out of multiple TE sets. Part of that is Jones aligns all over the formation.
5. The Falcons stayed with their base personnel foundation in their only road loss of the season to Seattle. More than 60 percent of their offensive snaps came out of base personnel packages.
Falcons On Defense
1. Head coach Dan Quinn continues to expand the role of Vic Beasley Jr. in the nickel. He normally aligns at left defensive end, but now snaps at Joker in the middle of the defense as well.
2. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett continues to stand out. The second-year player has excellent quickness off the ball with a low center of gravity and the ability to explode with his secondary move.
3. How will the Falcons game plan for quarterback Carson Wentz? In the Falcons' win over the Packers, Atlanta rushed only three and dropped eight in coverage as part of the Cover 3 look. This worked against Green Bay because Rodgers has not been a timing-and-rhythm, turn-it-loose passer most of this season.
4. Rookie linebacker Deion Jones flashes in the run game. He plays downhill with aggression and takes on blocks.
5. If the Falcons get burned in their foundational Cover 3 without cornerback Desmond Trufant, Quinn will adjust like he did in the loss to the Chargers when they played more man coverage in the second half.