Sean Weatherspoon is no doubt the Atlanta Falcons’ defensive leader. His three sacks, interception, and 70 tackles definitely make him a prolific linebacker in the NFL and definitely on his team, which explains why his long departure due to an injury cost the Falcons’ defense so much.
Akeem Dent was supposed to fill in for Weatherspoon, but also got hurt and left the coaches with no other choice but to find other replacements at linebacker to make up for their losses. The only replacement that met his expectations is Paul Worrilow, who had a slow start but now has 49 tackles in his rookie season.
That still doesn’t replace Weatherspoon’s impact on defense. When Weatherspoon returned, everyone expected him to have a stand out game against New Orleans but not so much. That was the first time Weatherspoon was on the field in nine months, but now that he’s been back one week he’ll be able to have more of an effect on the defense.
The Buffalo Bills biggest threat comes from their running game where two running backs, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, both have run for 500 yards this season. The Falcons’ run defense is ranked 28th in the league allowing an average of 4.6 yards per carry and the Bills’ running offense is ranked 7th with an average of 4.1 yards.
With Weatherspoon back in and healthy, he has to come up big for the Falcons’ defense along with Worrilow and Joplo Bartu. A lot of the Falcons’ defensive problems come from the defense not being able to tackle if the running back isn’t stopped in his own backfield. The Falcons have to make sure the main focus is tackling, tackling, tackling. It’s the only way they will have a chance to stop Spiller and Jackson. These two running backs are big play makers and they have to be stopped early in the game.
To sum it up, Sean Weatherspoon’s impact will have to be big and he will without a doubt take the leadership role anyway. If Weatherspoon is stopping these running backs early, the Falcons might have a chance to get their third win this season and their first on the road.