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Three Big Things: Falcons Week

A look at the top storylines for Sunday's game


The three biggest things to watch for Sunday when the Cardinals play the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta:

Going Back To Colt Didn't Work Out

Colt McCoy was supposed to be the starting QB for the Cardinals. But then his concussion symptoms returned, and David Blough is in the lineup. The quarterback roulette is hard on any team, and the Cardinals starting someone who has been with the team only since Dec. 14 isn't an easy path. He's at least started in the league (five games) and it sounds like he had been promoted to No. 2 as McCoy prepared for the game, but expecting big things from the offense is tough when pieces are moving so much each week.

Can't Allow Falcons A Running Start

The Falcons, with rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder, want to run the ball. A lot. They are effective with it. It's a path to victory, because they can play keep away from the other offense – something McCoy noted earlier this week. The question is, how to the Cardinals stop it? Zach Allen remains down, and the defensive line beyond J.J. Watt remains thin. The Buccaneers, not a great rushing team, didn't go off. Not like the Broncos did the week before. But with rookie Tyler Allgeier and Corderelle Patterson, the Falcons have some pieces and the Cardinals can't let them loose on the ground.

Playing Off Watt Retirement Vibes

The news is out: J.J. Watt is going to retire after the last two games. Will it have an impact on the games themselves? We will see. But it was hard not to notice how fellow defensive lineman Leki Fotu declined to talk about Watt's decision until after the season. Fotu said he wanted to focus on the last two games first, a message I am guessing was passed around the defensive line room. And it makes sense. Watt wanted to retire when he was playing well. He's doing that, but notching another win would also add to that desire, and it's hard to believe that won't have some sway over the locker room.