3 key matchups: Falcons at Bengals

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Here’s are three key matchups to watch when the Falcons (3-3) face the Bengals (3-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Paycor Stadium:

Falcons LT Jake Matthews vs. Bengals RDE Trey Hendrickson: Matthews had some battles with Hendrickson when Hendrickson was with the Saints from 2017-20. Hendrickson, a 2017 third-round pick from Florida Atlantic, was selected to the Pro Bowl last season for the first time, when he had 14.5 sacks. He leads the Bengals with 2.5 sacks.

Falcons LB Rashaan Evans vs. Bengals RB Joe Mixon: Evans leads the Falcons with 55 tackles and has been the signal-caller since Mykal Walker was slowed in the Tampa Bay game. His forced fumble against the 49ers helped to ignite the upset. Mixon has had three 1,000-yard seasons, but is off to a slow start with only 347 yards over six games. “He’s a big back,” Evans said. “He’s able to make people miss.”

Falcons TE Kyle Pitts vs. Bengals S Vonn Bell: Bengals coach Zac Taylor has been impressed with how the Falcons are using Pitts. “They use him in the run game,” Taylor said. “He’ll put his nose on people and block, and then all of sudden they are in 13 (one back, three tight ends), and he’s the one running routes down the field.” The Falcons will also put Pitts outside in a wide receiver position. “He’s everywhere,” Taylor said. “He’s at fullback. He’s a real, weapon with great speed ... body control and hands.”

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 schedule

Sept. 11: Saints 27, Falcons 26

Sept. 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

Sept. 25 Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

Oct. 2 Falcons 23, Browns 20

Oct. 9 Buccaneers 21, Falcons 15

Oct. 16 Falcons 28, 49ers 14

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