Editor’s Note: Coltzilla’s Travis Tango had the opportunity to catch up with Dave Choate of the falcoholic to get an inside look at the Atlanta Falcons. Take some time to browse Travis’ questions and Daves’ answers after the jump.
Travis Tango - The Falcons offense is full of talent and the team has plenty of weapons for Matt Ryan, so why is the offense struggling? Would you put the struggles more on the QB, or do you think that it mainly falls on an offensive line that has had trouble consistently opening holes in the run game?
Dave Choate - The offense is struggling for a number of reasons. Roddy White and Julio Jones have been banged up, Matt Ryan isn’t playing as well as a year ago and the offensive line has struggled to block for him.
I do think the line is improving, and Michael Turner has had little trouble racking up yardage of late. The Falcons would be smart to continue to lean on him.
TT – I tend to always say that the Falcons are a little underrated defensively. One of the big things people always point out is the team’s struggles in pass coverage. Has this facet of the defense improved from last year with Kelvin Haden as a new acquisition? Where is the defense’s biggest weakness right now?
DC - I think the coverage has improved considerably. The pass rush is beginning to step up and Hayden, among others, has been a stabilizing force. I chalk that up to the pass rush these last few weeks especially.
The biggest weakness right now is still the big play. The Falcons are prone to giving them up, especially in the passing game, and it hurts them against quality offenses.
TT - The Colts defense has been bad. But one area — when healthy and when Indy has had rookie 3rd round pick Nevis in the lineup — that has been pretty solid is the run defense. If the Falcons had to, do you think their pass game has improved enough from the start of the season to be able to carry the team? What match-up or player on offense should Colts fans keep the biggest eye on?
DC - I think that Michael Turner against the interior of the line will be a critical match-up. The passing game should be better with the return of Julio Jones and a healthy White, but the Falcons are still gonna lean on the big guy. He remains a force, even against quality run defenses.
TT – Is there an unheralded player that is slipping under the radar? Who should Colts fans pay attention to?
DC - Definitely keep your eye on Brent Grimes. He’ll be trying to lock down Pierre Garcon and is an absolute ball hawk. If Curtis Painter doesn’t bring his A game, you’ll hear his name more than once.
We would like to thank Dave for taking the time out of his busy schedule — he was in a snow storm without power — to provide Colts fans with some useful answers that provide some insight into what Indianapolis could see on Sunday.