Lombardi: Falcons dependent on Matt Ryan, offense

  • By Kareem Copeland
  • Around the League Writer
  • Updated: Dec. 16, 2012 at 08:34 a.m.

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.

NFL analyst Michael Lombardi said Sunday on "First on the Field" 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 touchdowns 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 firing with the NFC East and their playoff lives on the line these last three weeks.