Steelers vs Falcons: The Atlanta Falcons will be hoping to put an end to a two-game losing streak when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon. Atlanta is 1-3 overall and coming off consecutive home setbacks against New Orleans and Cincinnati. Now it is the Steelers who are playing two in a row at home as they looking to bounce back from a Sunday night loss to Baltimore.
With a young, on-the-rise defense and an offense that took a massive step back in 2017, defense was thought to perhaps even be Atlanta’s strength heading into the 2018 campaign. That changed in a hurry, in part due to season-ending injuries sustained by safety Keanu Neal (ACL), and safety Ricardo Allen (Achilles’) plus a longterm foot injury that has linebacker Deion Jones on injured reserve–designated for return. The Falcons are 28th out of 32 NFL teams in total defense through four weeks, surrendering 403.0 yards per contest. They are third to last with 30.5 points per game allowed; only Oakland and Tampa Bay are more generous. Atlanta showed signs of at least slowing down the Bengals during the second half of last weekend’s 37-36 loss when the home team started playing more man-to-man defense, but it switcher to a Cover 2 zone on what was basically the last play of the game and Andy Dalton threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green.
“(We) just got to keep going; keep pushing,” cornerback Desmond Trufant said of his team’s 1-3 start. “Really can’t just make no excuses. Just have to be detailed; small things turn into big things when it’s in the game. The first quarter of the season is over–didn’t go anywhere how we wanted it to, but still got a lot of football left.”