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Atlanta Falcons dependent on Matt Ryan, offense


For an 11-2 team, the Atlanta Falcons don't get much love. Sure, they have the NFL's No. 8 scoring offense and the No. 4 pass offense, but the defense has allowed teams to rack up 361.9 yards per game.

Statement Sunday

Christmas comes early for NFL fans. There are six Week 15 games with major postseason implications. Take a closer look at these pivotal matchups:

» Giants at Falcons
» Broncos at Ravens
» Packers at Bears
» Colts at Texans
» Steelers at Cowboys
» 49ers at Patriots

On Twitter: #StatementSunday

NFL analyst Michael Lombardi said Sunday on "First on the Field" that the Falcons are similar to the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers from last year -- completely dependent on offense. He explained they need to throw the ball and make plays downfield with Roddy White and Julio Jones to be successful.

The Falcons have been beatable with Ryan struggling the last five games. They've gone 3-2 with Ryan throwing seven touchdown passes and eight interceptions.

"They've got to have a lead ... and then there's no margin for error," Lombardi said. "Matt Ryan can't have a bad game, and that's going to put all the pressure on the offense."

The Falcons have clinched the NFC South, but they don't want to limp into the playoffs. The New York Giants will come to Atlanta to battle the Falcons on Sunday with the NFC East and their playoff lives on the line.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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