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2019 Opponent Scouting Report: Falcons Special Teams, Final Thoughts and a Prediction

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NFL: Preseason-Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

On September 22, 2019, the Atlanta Falcons will travel to Indianapolis to take on our Colts. In this week three match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our Colts.

The last time these two teams met in November of 2015, our Colts came out on top 24 to 21. Since 1966 these two teams have met 16 times and if you thought the Colts record against the Titans is impressive, well, it doesn’t hold a candle to the 14-2 all time record our Colts hold over these Falcons. Unfortunately for us those 16 games don’t mean much when it comes to this Sunday’s game. Hopefully the boys in blue can add to their illustrious record.

Let’s figure out what we can expect in Week three.


Special Teams


Kicker:

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Bryant has been kicking in the NFL for a very long time. The 44 year old actually hit a single field goal in 2004 for our Indianapolis Colts. This season Bryant has only attempted two field goals, both from beyond 50 yards. He’s 1 for 2 on those kicks and he’s 3 for 3 on PAT’s thus far.

That’s a stat line most Colts fans would love to have from their kicker.


Punter:

NFL: Preseason-Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of his career Matt Bosher has been a good punter. Bosher is currently dealing with a groin issue and is considered questionable for Sunday. Bosher dealt with the injury last week against the Eagles. He was still able to punt, but was obviously in pain. Normally, Bosher handled kickoff duties as well, but during his injury Matt Bryant has taken over that role. Perhaps the biggest impact special teams will have in this game will be field position, and the Colts will have a huge advantage as Bryant is unable to get his kicks into the endzone or inside the 10 with any hang time at all.


Returner:

NFL: Preseason-Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Kenjon Barner is also listed as questionable this week with an ankle injury. Barner is averaging 8.3 yards per punt return and 22 yards per kick return. Barner has returned kicks for all seven years of his NFL career and has yet to return one for a touchdown. He is a solid returner but is unlikely to impact the game in a huge way.


Final Thoughts for The Week:

This Falcons team is an interesting one. They’re a talented team, but I can’t shake the feeling that they have underachieved this season considering the talent on the roster. I’ve gone back and forth on how I feel this game is going to go and I keep coming back to having absolutely no idea.

The first two weeks of the season I felt that if the Colts played their game, I had a pretty good idea of what the outcome would be. This week, if the Colts play their game, if Brissett is decisive and doesn’t turn the ball over, if Marlon Mack is able to find room to run, if the defense shuts down the run and gets to Matt Ryan, if all of that happens, the game could still go either way.

This type of game is usually determined by individual matchups, and if we look at which team will have more mismatches in their favor, it’s tough to see how Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley don’t tip the scale in the favor of the Falcons. With that said, this is the least confident I’ve been in a prediction so far this season. Sunday will be interesting regardless of the outcome.


Prediction

Colts 24

Falcons 31