Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots
The Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots face off on Sunday Night Football in a week 4 NFL battle. The Falcons are -1.5 point favorites over the Patriots with an over/under point total set at 49.5.
The Atlanta Falcons are off to a 1-2 start and in the competitive NFC, it doesn’t leave them much more room to take losses. The Falcons have lost both of their road games and won at home and they look to add another home win here. Matt Ryan has completed 68.1 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and two interceptions, while being sacked five times. Jacquizz Rodgers has seen the bulk of the carries, averaging 3.3 yards per carry and Jason Snelling is averaging 5.5 yards per carry and seeing an increased workload with Steven Jackson out until mid-October. Julio Jones is having a breakout year with 27 catches and two touchdowns, Tony Gonzalez has 11 catches, and Harry Douglas has nine catches and Roddy White has seven catches. The Falcons defense allows 24.7 points and 375 yards per game with three interceptions, seven sacks, and two fumbles. Robert McClain has 25 tackles and William Moore and Akeem Dent have 20 tackles each. The Falcons are up against it in this spot but they are awfully tough at home.
The New England Patriots are off to a 30 start and are tied for the lead in the AFC East, but they clearly have some issues they may need to contend with all season long. Tom Brady has completed just 57.5 percent of his passes, with five touchdowns and two interceptions, while being sacked seven times. Stevan Ridley is averaging 3.4 yards per carry, LeGarrette Blunt is averaging 3.6 yards per carry, and Shane Vereen is averaging 7.2 yards per carry. Julian Edelman has 27 catches and two touchdowns and Aaron Dobson and Danny Amendola have 10 catches each. The Patriots defense is allowing 11.3 points and 309 yards with four interceptions, seven sacks, and four fumble recoveries. Jerod Mayo has 30 tackles, Steve Gregory has 21 tackles, and Aqib Talib has three interceptions. The Patriots are winning ugly, but winning nonetheless.
Atlanta is 23-9 against the spread following a loss, 1-5 against the spread in their last six games, and 10-21-1 against the spread in their last 32 home games against a team with a winning road record. New England is 1-4 against the spread following a game in which they covered the spread, 6-0 against the spread in week 4 games, and 1-4 against the spread after rushing for over 150 yards in their previous game.
While the Pats offense has sputtered at times, I am expecting points here and my pick is on the over.