After watching the Week 10 matchups, Scouts Inc. shares these key observations:
1. The Atlanta Falcons' offensive line is fun to watch. There isn't a great player in the bunch. Against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, LT Sam Baker was overmatched against Terrell Suggs. Still, the Falcons' offensive line is above average as a unit, and few lines are as good. First off, these linemen are just nasty. They play the game hard. They finish their blocks. Clearly, they are very well coached and have a great feel for one another along the line. They double-team very well and get to the second level with consistency. They find the linebackers when the run play calls for movement up front, especially when asked to pull. The Falcons use a lot of different personnel and formations on offense, but generally they use run-heavy looks. In protection, they are aided by QB Matt Ryan's ability to get the ball out on time consistently, but that shouldn't take away from what they get accomplished. The Falcons' linemen don't jump off the screen athletically, but the unit is among the NFL's better offensive lines.
2. On the defensive line, the Falcons have a dominant player in DT Jonathan Babineaux. I don't like to throw around overused adjectives like "dominant" when describing football players, but that is exactly what Babineaux is. He is strong and an exceptional leverage player against the pass or run, and his quickness is unmatched. He lived in Baltimore's backfield on Thursday. Like Babineaux, Atlanta's defensive line doesn't get the recognition that it deserves. This is a deep group. It rotates players in freely and in a timely manner, and its overall quickness and athletic ability is quite impressive. Like the offensive line, this group of big men is also extremely well coached.