Steelers vs. Falcons: Five Questions with the Enemy

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Oct 12, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Antone Smith (35) celebrates his touchdown reception with wide receiver Roddy White (84) and running back Devonta Freeman (24) in the third quarter of their game against the Chicago Bears at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Falcons this season?

The strengths of the Falcons follow on from my thoughts on Matt Ryan – if it weren’t for the passing game this team could very well be winless. Aside from the sure thing once a week 40+ yard TD from firecracker Antone Smith in the first half of the season, Atlanta have struggled to run the ball with consistency, and have one of the worst defenses in the league. Our inability to stop the run is only bested by our inability to stop the pass, and the Falcons have not had any success generating a pass rush in 2014. Our leader in sacks has 3.5 for the year, but this is due to a lack of front 7 talent rather than the theoretical ‘3 sacks for 10 guys’ scheme Mike Nolan wants. Aside from the 2013 New Orleans Saints defense, there isn’t a defense I can recall in the past few years that gives up yards at the rate the 2014 Falcons attempt to. Start your Steelers in fantasy.