On the hot seat: The Falcons’ offensive line

Falcons center  Alex Mack #51 prepares to snap the ball during the second half against the Packers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 17,  in Atlanta
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Falcons center Alex Mack #51 prepares to snap the ball during the second half against the Packers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 17, in Atlanta

Falcons center Alex Mack and offensive line mates know they are in for a major rumble against the Eagles on Saturday.

“Their (defensive) front is as good as it gets in our league,” Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said. “Handling that, is probably where it begins for us, whether it’s in the run game or the pass game.”

Mack and guard Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland will have their hands full with Eagles tackles Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan.

The Falcons just faced Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald last week.

“You could argue that the best comparison is that they are probably the two best interior defensive linemen in the game right now,” Sarkisian said. “(They are) a little bit different in the twitchy-ness that Donald brought. He is a very twitchy, quick guy, but still yet powerful. Where Cox really brings a lot of power to the table and uses his power to create some of his rushes in the pass game.”

The Falcons don’t plan to walk away from their rushing attack.

“We are a lot better when our run game is going,” Sarkisian said.

The Eagles also have a diversified pass rush.

Defensive end Brandon Graham lead the team in sacks with 9.5. Fletcher Cox has 5.5, rookie defensive end Derek Barnett and Chris Long have five sacks. Vinny Curry had three sacks.

But Cox is the key to the Eagles’ operation.

“He’s one of the more talented defensive linemen that we are going to face,” Mack said. “It’s going to real hard-hat day of work for us.”

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