3 key matchups: Browns at Falcons

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Here are three key matchups to watch when the Browns (2-1) face the Falcons (1-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

Browns DEs vs. Falcons OTs: Myles Garrett, the Browns’ three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, was in a car accident Monday. He sustained non-life-threatening injuries, but his status for the game is unknown. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (ankle injury) did not play against the Steelers and could miss the game Sunday. If Clowney and Garrett do not play, the Browns could turn to rookies Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas. Wright was drafted in the third round out of Alabama-Birmingham and Thomas in the seventh round out of Oklahoma.

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Browns TE David Njoku vs. Falcons S Jaylinn Hawkins: Like the Falcons, the Browns moved on from Austin Hooper and signed Njoku to a four-year, $56.75 million contract this offseason. He has caught 13 of 16 targets for 128 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons were burned Sunday on a third-and-1 by Seattle’s Cody Parkinson. If Njoku gets behind the defense, it will be for much more than 36 yards.

Browns WR Amari Cooper vs. Falcons CB A.J. Terrell: The Cowboys basically gave Cooper, a four-time Pro Bowler, away for a bag of chips (a fifth-round pick and a swap of 2022 sixth-round picks). Cooper has caught 19 of 27 targets for 219 yards and two touchdowns. Terrell, who will follow Cooper when they are in man-to-man coverage, had a strong game against Seattle’s DK Metcalf, with three pass breakups.

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 NFL schedule

Sept. 11: Saints 27, Falcons 26

Sept. 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

Sept. 25 Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

Oct. 2 vs. Cleveland, 1 p.m.

Oct. 9 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Oct. 16 vs. San Francisco, 1 p.m.

Oct. 23 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Oct. 30 vs. Carolina, 1 p.m.

Nov. 6 vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m.

Nov. 10 at Carolina, 8:15 p.m.

Nov. 20 vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.

Nov. 27 at Washington, 1 p.m.

Dec. 4 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.


Dec. 18 at New Orleans, TBD

Dec. 24 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Jan. 1 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.

Jan. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD