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Falcons vs. Saints: How (and can) Atlanta stop Alvin Kamara? Alvin Kamara is a great running back. I think we can acknowledge that and still loathe him for his association with the Saints Youth Grady Jarrett Jersey , and so we shall. The question this week is how the Falcons plan to stop him, and whether that plan will be successful.The good news is that Kamara has scuffled a bit in back-to-back weeks on the ground, with 21 carries for just 75 yards, though he’s scored twice. The bad news is that he’s doing his usual fine work through the air, with 15 receptions for 165 yards already. Were this the same crew on defense as a year ago, I’d be pretty confident. The Falcons knocked Kamara out of the first meeting in 2017—I’m not endorsing that, just saying—which meant his numbers were quite low. The second time around, Kamara managed just 2.7 yards per carry and 32 yards on the ground, though he did get seven receptions for 58 yards. That was when Deion Jones and Keanu Neal were roaming the field, however, and much has changed since then.How should the Falcons stop Kamara?They need to focus on him. Obviously Michael Thomas and the other Saints receiving options are plenty capable, but this secondary remains very good, and a year ago the team managed to not let Thomas kill them, even if he was quite good. Kamara needs to be priority ,1# and whenever possible, he needs to have someone dedicated to keeping an eye on him.In an ideal world, that’d be Deion Jones, but Jones isn’t in this game. That means it’s probably going to fall to Duke Riley and whoever else Marquand Manuel and Dan Quinn feel can handle such an onerous task Womens Matt Bryant Jersey , and the Falcons would be wise to switch things up if they’re burned early. As good as Drew Brees is and as good as this New Orleans offense can be, Kamara is still the biggest single threat in this game. If they get away from paying extra attention to him, he’ll likely make them pay. Will the Falcons be able to stop Kamara? This is a much trickier question to answer. Based on last week’s performance, if Riley has coverage responsibilities for Kamara it’s going to get hairy. Riley was game but made the wrong decision too many times against the Panthers and wound up either out of plays or making miscues that turned into big plays. The Falcons are asking an awful lot of him at the moment, but they don’t really have an obvious alternative unless they’re ready to move on to Foye Oluokun already. Riley will still probably get first crack at Kamara, but chances are good he’s going to wind up surrendering some significant yardage unless he’s made a drastic leap in a single week. The Falcons could then try putting Damontae Kazee or Foye Oluokun on him, or they could really go for it and put him up against one of the team’s cornerbacks who are equipped to deal with him. That’ll likely only become an option if he’s killing the Falcons, though, which unfortunately does seem like a legitimate possibility.I think ultimately the Falcons will find a way to keep Kamara from being the primary reason they lose this game. I also think he’s going to have a strong effort overall, and this week might determine whether Duke Riley stays in Deion Jones’ job going forward or not.The Falcons replace the defense en masse in this week’s sacrifice It was Wednesday before Damontae Kazee noticed that anything was amiss.There had been worrying signs, in retrospect. Robert Alford had taken to wearing black tracksuits and motivational t-shirts, starting on Monday morning. Vic Beasley was listening to “Everybody” by Backstreet Boys on loop and Tweeting about Drew Brees. And Duke Riley had shaved off his trademark Louisiana waterfall, replacing it with a shaved head and sensible goatee. But it was only Wednesday that he heard the chants. When Dan Quinn entered the room to speak with the defense, they greeted him, their voices hollow and yet triumphant.“Good morning, Coachlord!” they cried as Quinn greeted them with a grimacing flash of teeth. “Good morning, team!” he returned, his voice raspy and his cape sweeping seemingly across the entire room. “Today is another day Womens att Bosher Jersey , and our return to glory is nigh. I have every confidence you will play as you were born to do, as if you were forged in the flames beneath this very facility!”After his speech, Quinn blinked, long and slow.“I mean heck! The flames of heck!” Kazee blinked, too, but it was with suspicion and fear. A glance around the room showed his teammates swaying with dull red glows to their eyes, like Kroy Biermann’s contacts on a winter evening. When Quinn swept out of the room, and his teammates on defense sat dully around the locker room, Kazee decided to follow him. It was not hard to do, as the darkness seemed to gather around his head coach as he strode toward his office.When the great iron doors shut behind him, Kazee speared himself across the hallway and leaned his ear against the door. He did not take off his helmet. The voices he heard were muffled, but the words were still clear. “Your plan to sacrifice the entire defense, replacing them with clay homunculi fired in the forges of the Under Zaxby’s, was a stroke of genius,” Quinn muttered.“Of course it was! If you cannot prevent this defense from allowing more than 120 points in three weeks, I will take matters into my own wings,” boomed a voice in return, all metal-on-metal. “Are you not worried that despite their obvious discipline , these horrors-that-would-be-men will still struggle with tackling? I mean, they’re made of clay,” Quinn asked tentatively. “Oh, now you’re worried about tackling,” groused the iron voice. “Where was that concern last week? Or the week before that? Or the week before that? These creatures do not tire, do not slacken, and do not compliment Drew Brees on Twitter, for which you are quite welcome.” Kazee shifted at that, and his helmet banged against the door with a reverberating boom. He hurried away from the door, but it slammed open and Quinn was gliding toward him on what Kazee swore was a cloud of shadows. “Don’t come any closer, Coach!” Kazee cried, head down threateningly. “I won’t be turned into one of your monsters!” “I still need you, Damontae,” Quinn said soothingly as he slid closer, his voice as soft and rustly as bat wings in sensible velvet evening wear. “Despite your penchant for tackling like Ralph Wiggum through a bay window, you are the steadiest defender we have besides Takk, who I believe is still engaged in hand-to-hand combat in the fiery pits below this facility. There is no need to replace you, and indeed Womens Desmond Trufant Jersey , I would hope the need will never come.”Kazee warily looked up. “You’re not going to throw me into a pit of fire?”“No, no! This defense needs a leader, especially because it turns out that homonculi are very bad at freelancing. We must achieve results soon, and you will be counted on to ensure we do. Otherwise, our lives will all be forfeit,” Quinn said. “Anyways, have a great night! See you tomorrow.” At that, Quinn turned smartly and headed back into his office, leaving Kazee alone in the darkening hallway with his thoughts. “He’ll be trouble, I’d wager,” the Great Metal Falcon said, disapproving and steely. “If he is, he will be dealt with,” Quinn returned with a grim smile. “After all, for us, the answers are within our own locker room...or our own subsurface hellscape!” The resulting boom of laughter was so loud Kazee could hear it as he prepared himself to re-enter the locker room and the growing sounds of the Backstreet Boys.
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