Arizona (4-5-1) at Atlanta (6-4)
When: Sunday, November 27th 2016
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: FOX
The Atlanta Falcons will try to bounce back from their worst offensive performance of the season when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. The Falcons, who are tops in the league in scoring (32.0), managed only 15 points two weeks ago in a loss to Philadelphia. Atlanta will be coming back from their bye with just a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the NFC South, but four of their remaining six games will be at home. Matt Ryan is second in the NFL in passing yards (3,247) and has thrown for 24 touchdowns with five interceptions in the best season of his career. Ryan is about to get more help from the running game with the return of Tevin Coleman, who sat out the last three games with a hamstring injury but looked good at practice this week. Wide receiver Julio Jones has bounced back from a three-catch performance in Week 8 against Green Bay with 18 receptions for 246 yards in his last two games. While Atlanta has one of the top offenses in the NFL, their defense has been letting them down all season. They’re ranked 28th in overall defense (385.9), 29th in points allowed (28.3), and dead-last against the pass (283.0). The Falcons will host Kansas City next week.
The Cardinals have not lived up to their preseason expectations thus far and it’s starting to take a toll on their head coach. Bruce Arians was taken to the hospital with chest pains but released on Monday night and returned to the team facility the following day with the expectation that he will lead practices all week and coach the game on Sunday. Arizona is 1-2-1 in their last four games after last week’s 30-24 setback at Minnesota. They have the top-ranked defense in the league (287.4), but have allowed 80 points in their last three games. Carson Palmer has recorded five of his 10 interceptions in the last three games and managed a season-low 198 passing yards at Minnesota last week. Running back David Johnson recorded his fourth 100-yard performance of the season with 103 last week and is third in the NFL with 863 rushing yards. Arizona will play four of their last six games on the road including a trip to first-place Seattle on Christmas Eve. The Cardinals are three games behind the Seahawks in the NFC West.
I expect Palmer to have one of his best games of the season against a poor Atlanta secondary today and that will open up some holes for Johnson, who is one of best backs in football right now. Arizona has the defense that can slow down Ryan and give him problems. The Cardinals allow less than 200 yards a game through the air. This is a lot of points – I’ll take them.
Pick: Cardinals +6