The players also have some familiarity with one another. How do I guard this guy? I have to make sure my leverage is right when I tackle this player? In press coverage, this release worked; this one wasn’t as effective. So there is definitely familiarity. We definitely looked back at that game, but also the games from this year too. That’s pretty normal operating procedure when we’re playing a team. We may even go back a year or even two years if the coaching staff is the same to see if there will be some philosophical scheme and plays that they’re really comfortable with.
The Falcons have new faces who didn’t play in the Super Bowl with two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dontari Poe now a part of the defensive line along with rookies Takkarist McKinley, Duke Riley, and Damontae Kazee. Pro Bowl cornerback Desmond Trufant didn’t play in the Super Bowl after undergoing season-ending pectoral surgery, but he is back and eager to face Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Offensively, the Falcons have a new starting right guard in Wes Schweitzer, who was inactive for every game last season as a rookie. The Falcons also have a new fullback in Derrick Coleman, plus a new primary return man in Andre Roberts.
We start in Houston with the Titans offensive line. This was an ugly contest for the Titans, but not on this play. Starting with the center, Ben Jones, and working to the left guard, Quinton Spain, and the left tackle, Taylor Lewan, this is beautiful. Jones starts the party, knocking J.J. Watt off balance, then Spain cleans up for Lewan and ends up knocking down both Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.
Moving along to Kansas City and the Washington offensive line. It’s been featured a bunch in the first three weeks and it continues here. First, right guard Brandon Scherff gives Justin Houston some chin music on a slide protection. This is O-line porn.