Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

5 things to know before today's Falcons at Jaguars kickoff


JACKSONVILLE -- Here are 5 things to mull over before today’s 1 p.m. kickoff between the Falcons (6-7) and the Jaguars  (5-8) at EverBank Field.

1. SLOW START EXPECTED:  Atlanta 37, San Diego 36, the Jaguars 35 and San Francisco 18 have scored the fewest points in the first quarter this season. But things may heat up after the first quarter. Overall, the Jaguars are ninth in scoring average (25.1

points per game) and the Falcons 19th (21.5).

2. RUN GAME: The Jaguars will be without their top running back T.J. Yeldon (sprained medial collateral ligament) and the Falcons will be without their leading tackler in middle linebacker Paul Worrilow (knee injury). Scatback Denard Robinson will start for Yeldon and Nate Stupar will start at middle linebacker for Worrilow.

3. FREEMAN UNLEASHED: The Falcons believe that they need to unleash running back Devonta Freeman in order to get out of their offensive slump.  But Freeman had his lowest graded game of 2015 last week. In Week 14, he was graded as the 49th out of 49 running backs by profootballfocus.com. He was also the lowest graded offensive Falcon.

4. WHERE'S THE ICE MAN?: Falcons fans looking for the return of Matty Ice.  Matt Ryan had his second negatively graded game in a row. The last time he had two-straight negatively graded games was during Weeks 10 and 11 of the 2013 season.

5. SERIES RECORD: This will be the sixth regular-season meeting with Jacksonville. The Jaguars hold a 3-2 advantage. The Falcons won the last meeting, 41-14 on Dec. 15, 2011 at the Georgia Dome. The Jaguars won the last meeting in Jacksonville, 13-7, on Sept. 9, 2007. The Falcons have not won a regular-season game in Jacksonville.

GAMEDAY COVERAGE -- Falcons at Jaguars

Falcons appear destined to make NFL history

Falcons' pass defense will be tested

Matt Ryan on the struggling offense

Analytics: Bortles rated in lower-half of league

3 key matchups: Falcons at Jaguars

Falcons' offensive line must must rebound after getting manhandled by Carolina

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.