Game time: 7:30 pm EST
1) Keep an eye on Brian Banks the 28 year old rookie linebacker for the Falcons. If you don’t know his story, it’s a fantastic one. Long story short, he’s a man who was falsely accused of a crime, spent years in prison and now has a shot at the career he thought lost. So far he’s done OK in camp and the first week of the preseason. He’s worth watching on the field.
2) This could be a much tougher test for the Baltimore defense, which had little issue taking down the Tampa Bay offense last week. The backups in Atlanta are much higher quality and will challenge a defense which is still in transition. Of course it’s still backups playing backups, but as we don’t know for sure who may need to step up for Baltimore to defend their title, the backups matter.
3) Atlanta’s defense struggled against the offense of the Cincinnati Bengals and will have to step up it’s game against the Ravens. Sure, much of the damage was second string against second string, but the fact is that, like the Ravens, the Falcons will need some backups to step up. The Ravens lack the mobility at quarterback that the Bengals’ Josh Johnson had, but still are a dangerous group looking to prove itself. The Falcons will also be tested by the Ravens’ first string offense as well watch how they adjust even if it’s all just for a few snaps.
Andrew Garda is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. He is also a member of the fantasy football staff at Footballguys.com and an NFL writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him at @andrew_garda on Twitter.