What to Watch for: Preseason Week 2 vs. Falcons

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If there is one thing that can be deduced from the Week 1 match-up between the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons is that Matt Ryan looks sharp and the Ravens need Terrell Suggs back.

Although Ryan threw one pick, the Ravens pass rush looked incapable of causing discomfort to Ryan in the pocket. In addition, the Ravens secondary that has been spoken so highly of looked unprepared for Atlanta’s dynamic duo of wide receivers, Roddy White and Julio Jones.

It may have just been a preseason game but its worth noting because the Cincinnati looks to be in the hunt to take the division from Baltimore and they are hoping to continue to sharpen their young talent this week against the Falcons.

The Cincinnati Bengals will need to flush Ryan out of the pocket and force him to get rid of the ball in pressure situations. This will be the biggest point to keep an eye on as Carlos Dunlap went down with an injury that will likely keep him out for the rest of the preseason.

If the Falcons manage to keep the pocket clean Ryan could carve up the Bengals ailing secondary. While Cincy did add depth to the defensive back positions, they need help from the defensive line so that White and Jones can’t develop long routes for big plays.

Atlanta has had some trouble recently at the offensive line position. LT Sam Baker has been battling injuries and the Falcons have had to shift their lineup a little. They also spent their first two draft picks on offensive lineman.

The main thing to watch for on offense is if the Bengals running backs will gel with a new look offensive line that will now be without starting offensive guard Travelle Wharton. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott have been ruled out for the game.

The Bengals are expecting LG Clint Boling to pick up the slack for Wharton. Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander is high on Boling’s development as if offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, so this may not be a huge hit.


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