Atlanta (3-2) at New England (4-2)
When: Sunday, October 22nd 2017
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: New England -3.5/53.5
The Atlanta Falcons look to break a two-game skid as they visit the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, in what is a rematch of last year’s epic Super Bowl collapse. I’m sure everyone already knows that the Falcons had a 25-point lead in the third quarter in the big game last February, only to see Tom Brady and company make the greatest comeback in history. Before Atlanta can think about revenge, they need to focus on their play right now after dropping two straight games to AFC East opponents including last week’s 20-17 loss to Miami in which they held a 17-0 halftime lead. Maybe they were looking ahead to this week’s rematch. For the Patriots, a potential 16-0 season is long gone after losing in Foxborough twice already. New England has bounced back with two straight road victories, but own the league’s worst defense as far as yards allowed per game at a staggering 440.7. Brady has averaged 331.8 yards while throwing for 11 TDs and two interceptions in five games versus Atlanta.
Matt Ryan established career highs in passer rating (117.1) and yards (4,944) en route to winning NFL MVP honors last season, but he’s thrown for as many interceptions as touchdowns (six) so far this season. Head coach Dan Quinn wants to get the ball into the hands of stud wideout Julio Jones more. He has 25 receptions on the season but has yet to reach the end zone. Atlanta has a terrific 1-2 punch in the backfield featuring Devonta Freeman (five TDs) and Tevin Coleman, who have combined for 566 rushing yards through five games. Nose tackle Grady Jarrett recorded three sacks in the Super Bowl but has yet to post one this season. This will be the first of three straight road games for Atlanta, who will finish playing the AFC East next week against the Jets.
Tom Brady threw for 466 yards in the Super Bowl comeback and has continued to air it out this season, leading the NFL with 1,959 yards while throwing for 13 touchdowns against only two interceptions. Brady didn’t have Rob Gronkowski in last year’s Super Bowl, but has hit him for 26 receptions and four touchdown in five games this season. Mike Gillislee has been the lead back for much of the season, but Dion Lewis had a season-high 11 carries and rushed for 52 yards and a score in the win over the Jets last Sunday. Despite ranking last in defense, New England has been able to hold their last two opponents to 31 combined points. New England will play the Chargers at home next week before entering their bye, then play five of their next six on the road.
The Falcons are a much better team than they’ve showed the last couple of weeks and maybe they were looking ahead to this matchup. It may only be a regular season game, but the Falcons are going to be hungry for this one. Jones has yet to find the end zone, but that will change this week against the Patriots defense. Look for Ryan to have a 300-yard game and Atlanta will hold onto a lead for a change.
Pick: Falcons +3.5
- Falcons are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Falcons are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games.
- Falcons are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
- Falcons are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games following a straight up loss.
- Falcons are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in October.
- Patriots are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Patriots are 16-4-1 ATS in their last 21 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Patriots are 12-3-2 ATS in their last 17 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Patriots are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss.
- Patriots are 7-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Patriots are 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Patriots are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.
- Patriots are 18-7 ATS in their last 25 games overall.
- Patriots are 41-18-3 ATS in their last 62 games in October.
- Patriots are 26-12-2 ATS in their last 40 home games.
- Patriots are 78-38-2 ATS in their last 118 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Patriots are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 7.
- Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on fieldturf.
- Over is 8-1 in Falcons last 9 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 14-2 in Falcons last 16 games on fieldturf.
- Over is 8-2 in Falcons last 10 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 16-6 in Falcons last 22 games following a straight up loss.
- Over is 18-7-1 in Falcons last 26 games overall.
- Over is 4-0 in Patriots last 4 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Over is 6-1 in Patriots last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 5-1 in Patriots last 6 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Over is 8-2 in Patriots last 10 games overall.
- Over is 4-1 in Patriots last 5 games in Week 7.
- Over is 6-2 in Patriots last 8 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 20-7 in Patriots last 27 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Over is 8-3 in Patriots last 11 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 64-29 in Patriots last 93 games on fieldturf.
- Over is 49-23 in Patriots last 72 home games.
- Road team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
- Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
- Falcons are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 meetings.