5 things to know before today’s Falcons at Broncos kickoff
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
DENVER — Here are 5 things to mull over before today’s 4:05 p.m. kickoff between the surprising Atlanta Falcons (3-1) and the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos (4-0) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.
1. THE X-FACTOR: Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones, who is coming off his 12-catch,
October 2, 2016 Atlanta: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones hauls in a Matt Ryan pass in front of Carolina Panthers cornerback Daryl Worley in the Georgia Dome Sunday October 2, 2016. Jones set a franchise record with 12 receptions and 300 yards and 1 touchdown. The performance was the 6th-highest receiving yardage game in NFL history. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM
300-yard receiving performance, will be the X-Factor against the Broncos and their secondary, which takes pride in creating a “no-fly zone.” After torching the Panthers’ inexperienced cornerbacks, the Falcons anticipate Jones will see man-to-man coverage from All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib. “It’s the ultimate challenge,” Denver coach Gary Kubiak said.
2. Lynch to start at QB for Broncos : Second-year quarterback Trevor Siemian injured his left shoulder last week. Rookie Paxton Lynch came on to play in relief last week against Tampa Bay. The Falcons spent most of the week preparing for both quarterbacks, but Lynch will start.
3. RADIO AND TELEVISION: Fox will have the game with Chris Meyers, John Lynch and Pam Oliver announcing. Wes Durham, Dave Archer and John Michaels will call the game for 92.9 The Game with the Countdown to Kickoff show being handled by Ryan Cameron and Mike Conti starting at 2 p.m.
4. NFL OFFICIAL CREW: McAulay Crew — R: Terry McAulay (77). FJ: Rick Patterson (15). U: Undrey Wash (96). SJ: Jonah Monroe (120). HL: Jerry Bergman (91) BJ: Rich Martinez (39) LJ: Tom Stephan (68). RO: Earnie Frantz. McAulay has been an NFL official since 1998 and he’s worked three Super Bowls.
5. SERIES RECORD: This will be the 14th regular-season meeting. The Broncos lead the series 8-5. The Falcons won the last meeting, 27-21, on Sept. 17, 2012. The Falcons also won the last meeting in Denver, 41-28, on Oct. 31, 2004. The Broncos defeated the Falcons, 34-19, in Atlanta’s only Super Bowl appearance, Super Bowl XXXIII, on Jan. 31, 1999.
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