Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons NFL Week 2 Preview

http://atlanta.sbnation.com/2012/9/10/3306863/nfl-week-2-broncos-vs-falcons-preview

http://atlanta.sbnation.com/2012/9/10/3306863/nfl-week-2-broncos-vs-falcons-preview

This matchup simply as the majority of fans foaming at the mouth, and nothing screams entertainment than Monday Night Football at the Atlanta Georgia Dome!

Matty “Ice” Ryan put on a clinic at Arrowhead Stadium in a 40-24 beatdown thanks to his electric playmakers around him. While Julio Jones (6 catches for 108 yards, 8 targets, 2 TD) and Roddy White (6 catches for 87 yards, 8 targets, 0 TD) are as sexy as it gets in the NFL for tandem splitting out wide, this game was all about Matt Ryan turning the page.

Maybe it didn’t like such because it was against the Chiefs (those dang Chefs!), but in a hostile environment where not many expected a Falcons victory this turned into a game where Ryan looked like a future All-Pro quarterback slicing and dicing apart an opposing defense.

Ryan threw for 299 yards and 3 TD (97.5 QBR, 136.4 Rating), but he even ran in a TD for good measure on the ground. The guy was a superstar when many still had their doubts, and he also did this without much of a running game.

That is something Mike Smith needs to work on if they expect to dare I say run the table in the division?

Michael Turner toted it 11 times for 32 yards whereas Jacquizz Rodgers touched it 9 times for a combined 35 yards. Those numbers are still not good enough and they cannot expect Ryan to go bonkers every game, right?

Also, do not forget about future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. “Gonzo” had his ho-hum game of 5 catches for 53 yards and a TD against his old team. It brought back some great memories and the Falcons offense might just have recipe for an 11 or 12-win season.

If that wish is going to be granted, they certainly need to pick up the slack on defense with the loss of Brent Grimes (torn achillies). Four backups will get their chances on Monday night as Christopher Owens, Dominique Franks, Robert McClain and Terrance Johnson will get some reps.

Luckily, Atlanta surprisingly had one of the better defensive backfields in the NFL with Asante Samuel and Dunta Robinson roaming the sidelines.

Those two will be put to the test in what I have listed as the top matchup of the entire weekend to watch for. Peyton Manning loves Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, so whoever can win the matchup between these two immensely talented groups should come out on top.

Manning comes into this game as the story of the season after one week arguably, but it was amazing to see so many people doubt the most accomplished quarterback in the history of the game.

The guy has gone to more Pro Bowls, been selected to more All-Pro teams and has won more MVP’s than any player in the history of the game (only for his position for those first two achievements).

Manning needs to stay clean in the pocket in order to have a Pro Bowl type of a season, but his running game also needs to make its mark this season.

Willis McGahee, Lance Ball and Knowshon Moreno are the three-headed monster that better combine for 100 yards a game this season or else they will fail to make the playoffs. They totaled for 97 yards and a TD in their 31-19 victory over the Steelers.

John Abraham, William Moore, Thomas DeCoud, Kroy Biermann, Ray Edwards, Will Weatherspoon and Johnathan Babineaux (don’t forget Samuel and Robinson) form arguably the most underrated defense in the NFL.

Denver may have the best overall defensive player in this matchup (Von Miller is All-Pro and Top 15 overall player in NFL), but the Falcons playing at home get the moderate edge.

Power Rankings: ATL (4) DEN (8)

Network: ESPN

Time: 8:30 p.m. Eastern

Experts Pick: Falcons by 3

Danny V’s Pick: Falcons 30, Broncos 17

Danny V’s Week 1 Record: 12-4 

Follow Dan Vasta on Twitter.

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