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The Speed Option: Buffalo Bills host the Atlanta Falcons

Check out the Falcons roster and coaching staff.

NFL: OCT 01 Bills at Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Fresh off a big road win, the Buffalo Bills are back home to host the Atlanta Falcons. It’s the first home game against the Falcons in head coach Sean McDermott’s tenure so let’s get up to speed on the Dirty Birds.

Season summary

The Falcons are 7-8 this season and sit in second place in the NFC South. They have been alternating wins and losses for the past six weeks. Last week they squeaked out a win over the one-win Detroit Lions.

Head coach

Thirty-nine year old Arthur Smith is in his first year as an NFL head coach. He spent the previous two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. He took the reins of the Titans’ offense after Matt LeFleur left to take the head coaching job for the Green Bay Packers.

Offensive coordinator

Dave Ragone is the offensive coordinator of the Falcons. It’s his first offensive coordinator job in the NFL. Prior to joining Smith’s staff, Ragone spent five seasons with the Chicago Bears—four as their quarterbacks coach and one as the passing-game coordinator. His offense is currently ranked 25th in points per game and yards per game.

Defensive coordinator

Unlike the head coach and offensive coordinator, Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees has some prior experience in the position. While this is Pees’s first year with the Falcons, the 72-year-old is in his 13th season as an NFL DC. He spent four seasons with the New England Patriots, six with the Baltimore Ravens, and two with the Titans. Pees has retired, and un-retired, twice. His first retirement came after his stint with the Ravens and lasted just 28 days. His second retirement was much longer, coming after his stint with the Titans and lasting 366 days. His defense in Atlanta is currently ranked 29th in points per game allowed and 24th in yards per game allowed.

Offensive Starters

  • QB: Matt Ryan
  • RB: Mike Davis ^
  • WR: Russell Gage
  • WR: Christian Blake
  • TE: Kyle Pitts *
  • TE/FB: Hayden Hurst
  • LT: Jake Matthews
  • LG: Jalen Mayfield *
  • C: Matt Hennessy
  • RG: Chris Lindstrom
  • RT: Kaleb McGary

^ = free agent / trade addition
* = rookie

Defensive Starters

  • DL: Grady Jarrett
  • DL: Ta’Quon Graham *
  • DL: Jonathan Bullard ^
  • OLB: Dante Fowler Jr.
  • LB: Deion Jones
  • LB: Foyesade Oluokun
  • OLB: Steven Means
  • CB: A.J. Terrell
  • S: Jaylinn Hawkins
  • S: Duron Harmon ^
  • CB: Fabian Moreau ^

^ = free agent / trade addition
* = rookie