Falcons: Secondary prepares for Gordon
The Atlanta Falcons took another hit to an already thin secondary last Sunday; losing starting cornerback Robert Alford to a broken wrist for a few weeks. The Falcons were already short in the secondary with starting safety William Moore, sidelined since Week 4, still at least a week away from returning to action. So it’s hardly the ideal time to face a Cleveland Browns team reinforced by the return of their most dangerous offensive weapon, Josh Gordon.
The much-maligned Atlanta defense has shown signs of life the past few weeks and one of the brightest spots has been Desmond Trufant. Trufant’s +10.4 overall grade is fourth-best among all cornerbacks in his sophomore season, while his +6.8 coverage grade ranks eighth. Gordon’s return should enable the speedy Andrew Hawkins to do more damage from the slot, placing extra responsibility on the Falcons’ primary slot cornerback Josh Wilson. In Slot Coverage Wilson has allowed just 0.58 yards per cover snap, second-best in the league, and just one reception per 15.1 cover snaps, fourth-best.
It will be interesting to see if the addition of Gordon shifts the run-heavy focus of the Browns to a more aerial-based attack, and whether the Falcons’ improving defense can cope if it does.