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New York Giants writer interviews Atlanta Falcons publisher

The Giants Beat's lead writer Josh Fyffe goes behind enemy lines to ask Falcon Insider Bill Shanks five burning questions about the Atlanta Falcons.

Josh Fyffe | TheGiantsBeat.com

Julio Jones had the most impressive performance week 1 of any wide receiver in the NFL and has been polled as a consensus top 5 wide receiver coming into the season. But how are his position group mates fairing this season? Is Roddy White still playing at a viable level to be a major threat to any opposing secondary, and is there a strong third option that Matt Ryan has shown an affinity too thus far into the season and through practice?

Bill Shanks | FalconInsider.com

Julio Jones is Atlanta's best player. Talk about a MVP! He's a game-changer, a player that any opposing defensive coordinate will cringe at trying to figure out how to stop. But it's so important for others to step up to compliment Jones. Roddy White seems old all of a sudden, and the expectations seem low for the aging receiver. Leonard Hankerson was a free agent signee that is expected to replace Harry Douglas, who left for Tennessee. The Falcons believe he can be that third option, along with fourth round pick Justin Hardy.

Josh Fyffe | TheGiantsBeat.com

 Rookie RB Tevin Coleman shouldered a majority of the rushing load in week 1, commanding 20 rushing attempts for 80 yards. Is he expected to be the feature back down in Atlanta for the majority of the season? Devonta Freeman still had 10 carries so will there be more of a balance going forward? And what separates the two running backs in terms of their strengths and rushing style.

Bill Shanks | FalconInsider.com

The Falcons want it to be Coleman, who was bothered by a hamstring injury in training camp. Devonta Freeman had the same injury, but it's unlikely he'll get a shot to unseat Coleman. The Falcons love Coleman's potential. He's a bit bigger than Freeman, and the Falcons believe in Coleman's ability to be the feature back. The last two years the Falcons had no running game, as Steven Jackson was too old to contribute at the offensive line struggled to open holes. With the new zone blocking scheme and the new personnel on the line of scrimmage, the Falcons believe they will open holes this season for Coleman.
 

Josh Fyffe | TheGiantsBeat.com

The defense has been noted as much improved from a season ago, supported by a stout showing against the high-octane Eagles a week ago. Who has been the biggest spark this year in terms of their improvement and what they add/contribute to the defense?

Bill Shanks | FalconInsider.com

Free agent signee Justin Durant was very impressive in week one against Philadelphia. He's complimenting Paul Worrilow at linebacker. Rookie Vic Beasley was a bit tentative in week one, but the expectations are high for him to be productive from day one. Second-year lineman Ra'Shede Hageman is close to taking that next step under the leadership of line coach Bryan Cox. It's truly a team effort of new players, even backups like Adrian Clayborn. Veteran Jonathan Babineaux is now in a backup role, but he's still counted on for leadership.
 

Josh Fyffe | TheGiantsBeat.com

Matt Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks when playing in the Georgia Dome however has had noted road struggles, having a career record of 27-29. Ryan and the Falcons lost in the New Meadowlands a season ago when they got off to similar hot start. What can Ryan do prevent is road woes from continuing this week?

Bill Shanks | FalconInsider.com

 Ryan must rely on his offensive line, which is still in transition with the signing of Jake Long this week. The line of scrimmage has had two straight years of a revolving door. They must find some stability for Ryan to have success in New York and in Dallas next week. The protection for Ryan in game one was decent, and that might be good enough to allow Ryan to get the ball  in Julio Jones' hands. The Falcons brought in a new starting guard (Andy Levitre) and three backups in the last three weeks. That, along with the new scheme, has the offensive line as the key for Ryan to be successful.

Josh Fyffe | TheGiantsBeat.com

 What is the biggest matchup that you think the Falcons should expose if they want to be successful against the New York Giants this upcoming Sunday?
 

Bill Shanks | FalconInsider.com

I am curious as to who can try and stop Jones. What will the Giants do to try to at least contain Jones and not let him get out of control. That will be the matchup week-to-week that everyone will search for when they play the Falcons. Do we have someone special enough to slow him down? I am not sure the Giants can.

Josh Fyffe | TheGiantsBeat.com

Lastly what is your game prediction for this week?

Bill Shanks | FalconInsider.com

Falcons 27-20

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