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Week 2 preview: Falcons at Bengals

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Atlanta Falcons (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati – TV: CBS

*TV announcers: Kevin Harland, Rich Gannon

*Keys to the game: The Falcons are expecting shootouts until a defense with massive turnover eliminates the formation breakdowns that popped up against New Orleans. The Bengals like to blitz and coordinator Paul Guenther believes mixing up coverages is the best route to slow QB Matt Ryan, who is coming off a franchise-record 448-yard performance. If Cincinnati can stuff Atlanta’s four-headed running attack and pressure Atlanta’s jumbled offensive line, which is without injured LT Jake Matthews, the Bengals should have a chance to dictate the tempo.

The Bengals should have little trouble moving the ball, but must do a better job of capitalizing in the red zone after constantly stalling out in Baltimore territory last week. The Falcons do not generate a constant pass rush, so QB Andy Dalton should have ample opportunity to go through his progressions.

*Matchup to watch – Falcons CB Desmond Trufant vs. Bengals WR A.J. Green: Atlanta is leaning on a pair of second-year cornerbacks, and Trufant is making the switch to the left side, where he’ll often see Green across the line of scrimmage. The Falcons’ defense was out of sync in the opener, and any lapses in communication will lead to big plays against the quick-strike Bengals.

*Player spotlight – Bengals LB Vinny Rey: The fifth-year veteran may make his fifth career start if Vontaze Burfict is unable to pass through the league’s concussion protocol in time. Rey does have significant experience as a backup and can play all three linebacker spots.

*Fast facts: After 21 consecutive games without allowing a 300-yard passer, the Bengals have allowed three in the last 11 games — Detroit’s Matthew Stafford (357), Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (326) and Baltimore’s Joe Flacco (345), yet have won all three. … The Bengals have a nine-game regular-season home winning streak.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

Falcons QB Matt Ryan opened the season red-hot, and he’ll continue to rack up the yards. But it’s difficult to keep pace in a shootout on the road when backed by a very spotty defense.

*Our pick: Bengals 31-30

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