A season-ending injury to Brent Grimes has hurt the Falcons' secondary.
Now the Falcons lack their No. 1 corner and must depend on young guys to get the job done.
Some will point to the Falcons' three interceptions of Peyton Manning on Monday as a sign that things are okay. However, I'm still skeptical on the situation.
Here are three reasons why I believe Grimes' injury affects the Falcons secondary.
Grimes has been the best corner for the Falcons the last three seasons.
While Grimes has yet to reach the status of Asomugha and Revis, his loss hurts the same for Atlanta.
While 2011 was a down year for Grimes, who had only one interception, you can't discount his 11 interceptions over the previous two years.
Grimes has been the heart of the Falcons secondary ever since he was given a chance to start in 2009.
Since then, he's amassed 208 total tackles, 12 interceptions and 50 pass deflections. Those are the numbers you look for out of your No. 1 guy.
With the injury to Grimes, Dunta Robinson moves back to the outside at corner.
Dunta Robinson admitted in a video (via Knox Bardeen of atlantafieldreport.com) that he is more comfortable playing inside than outside:
It’s what I did pretty much for six years in Houston and it’s something I’m very used to. It’s going to give us a chance to get all three of our corners on the field at the same time.
With the acquisition of Asante Samuel, Robinson was able to move inside and put three corners on the field at the same time.
With the injury to Grimes, Robinson is forced to move back outside, somewhere he is not as comfortable.
While Robinson is still a good corner in his own right, he understands where his strengths are.
And they're not on the outside.
Robinson had some decent numbers against the Denver Broncos, knocking away two passes and getting three tackles. However, he's going to have to do more for the Falcons to go far this year.
Chris Ownes will be in the running for more playing time with the injury to Grimes.
Who will be the guy in nickel sets for the Falcons?
Will it be Dominique Franks, Chris Owens or Robert McClain?
While McClain impressed the most against the Broncos, I'm not sure he's ready for a big role on the team. Let's not forget he was one of the last players to make the Falcons roster in the preseason.
So, what about Franks? He's got great return skills and can stick his tackles. But can he get the interceptions or pass deflections at key times?
Then there's Owens, who was injured in Denver game. While he'll be back at the latest in Week 4, I'm not sure Owens is the guy to be in the No. 3 spot. Last year, he was the No. 5 guy, and he hasn't improved that much over the course of a year.
So, whom do you put in there?
I think safety Chris Hope would be the best fit. Although he's not a corner, Hope is the better coverage man than the other players.