USA Today Sports/ Brad Penner

Mike Lombardi on OMF: 'Super Bowl hangover has affected the Falcons'

Greg Levinsky
October 20, 2017 - 1:01 pm

With a Super Bowl rematch looming on Sunday night, NFL fans are intrigued to see what happens when the underperforming Atlanta Falcons visit the underperforming Patriots.

Former assistant to the Patriots coaching staff Mike Lombardi joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria for his weekly interview on Friday afternoon to discuss Sunday’s matchup and Patriots' defensive struggles. To hear the full interview, visit OMF’s audio on demand page.

The Patriots (4-2) haven't lost two home games in a row with Tom Brady at quarterback since November 2006. Matt Ryan has returned to reality for Atlanta (3-2) after having what Lombardi called an “aberration” of a season in which Ryan captured the MVP award.

“Matt Ryan is having his normal year. The Super Bowl hangover has affected the Falcons as they’ve been outscored 72-40 in the second half this year. You can see that the sting of losing that lead still affects them,” Lombardi said. “I think it is a little bit in their head. Steve Sarkisian might be a great coach but he’s not as good as Kyle Shanahan. Formationally you can tell what they’re trying to accomplish isn’t really the same as last year when they were unstoppable.”

With Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe likely out again this weekend, Johnson Bademosi will likely be tasked with checking Julio Jones. Lombardi sees this as a possible threat with a defense that has struggled, even though Jones has not been as effective as in years past.

“They haven’t really come together as a football team,” Lombardi said of the Falcons. “We’re in uncharted territory for the Falcons and the Patriots.”

The Patriots, unlike most teams, fix their mistakes early, but approaching Week 7 there is much uncertainty for New England on all sides of the ball. While much of the attention has been on the defense, the Patriots' offense is just 4-for-15 on third down in the red zone and has struggled to finish off drives. 

“The Patriots have struggled in the red zone both offensively and defensively,” Lombardi said. “They’ve given up touchdowns and they haven’t been able to get touchdowns. They’ve never been able to get control of the game and I think that’s what has to happen in this game.”

OMF - Michael Lombardi believe the preseason is to blame for poor NFL play; How did Chris Curtis became the BOSS?!?! 10-20-17

HOUR 3: Changes behind the scenes at WEEI, Curtis and Ken are the executive producers. Is Paul the low man of the Producers? Paul’s history of becoming the producer of OMF Curtis the guy who is the joke of the morning show is now the boss? Michael Lombardi joins the show and discusses the Patriots/Falcons,  

Callers on Patriots, NFL ratings.

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