Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos
Date and Time: Sunday, October 9, 2016, 4:05 p.m. ET
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO
Week 5 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Broncos -6, 47.5
Falcons vs. Broncos TV Coverage: FOX
This almost seems like déjà vu. Dan Quinn’s squad raced out to a perfect 5-0 start at the beginning of last season, but then after beating and failing to cover against Washington, Matt Ryan and his teammates went on a downward spiral that they were never able to bounce back from. So far the results have been extremely impressive with the Falcons bouncing back from that Week 1 loss to the division rival Buccaneers by going on the road and beating both the Raiders and Saints before pummeling the defending NFC champion Panthers back at home.
They went off the betting board dogged in each of those games, so it’s safe to say linemakers don’t exactly trust the Falcons after they wilted last season. Still, they dominated the opposition the last two weeks completely controlling each game against New Orleans on Monday Night Football and Carolina this past Sunday. While the defense gives up its fair share of yardage and points, you can’t help but come away impressed with the offense that ranks first in total yards (478.8) and points scored (38.0).
The 2016 season has sure shaped up nicely for the defending champs. The offense has benefitted greatly from one of the most ferocious defenses in the game allowing rookie quarterbacks, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, to more or less be game managers. The opposition faced has also been beneficial with the offense running up against three scoring defenses in the Panthers, Colts and Buccaneers that rank in the bottom third of the league. Cincinnati wasn’t at full strength when the team’s met in Week 3.
That won’t change here in Week 5 with the Falcons giving up 31.0 points per game (No. 29) and 419.2 total yards per game (No. 30). Again, the schedule has played a huge role in allowing the Broncos to go undefeated. That said, you can only play the teams on your schedule, and Denver is making the most of it.
Sean Weatherspoon – The Falcons put very little pressure on opposing quarterbacks evidenced by the defense averaging just one sack per game. Weatherspoon’s absence won’t change that since he hasn’t logged a sack, but what it will do is lessen the Falcons chances of limiting the Broncos on the ground since he was a major component as a run stuffer. C.J. Anderson could have himself a much easier go of it now.
Trevor Siemian – He was forced out of last week’s game with an AC joint sprain in his non-throwing shoulder. He’s expected to give it a go in this one, but one bad hit could send him to the sideline once again. Lynch looked serviceable last week, so you know he’d love to get a shot at the Falcons No. 31 ranked pass defense that’s given up 317 yards per game.
Falcons vs. Broncos Free Picks
Surprisingly, only 56 percent of the action taken since the odds at BookMaker.eu were first released on Sunday night is backing the home based Broncos in this tilt. I guess Denver limiting its four opponents to a grand total of 64 points is less impressive than the 152 points the Falcons dented the scoreboard with over the same stretch.
This will by far be the toughest test for the Falcons offense which looks to be up to the challenge with Julio Jones pacing the passing attack and Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman doing damage on the ground. Still, I can’t help but think Ryan is going to be under duress all game long from the Broncos relentless pass rush, and that’s going to lead to turnovers that will make it nearly impossible for the Falcons to spring the upset. I’m not sold in Atlanta and don’t think they win this game. With that, I don’t believe they cover it either regardless of how impressive the offense has looked the last three weeks.
Falcons vs. Broncos ATS Pick: Broncos -6 at BookMaker.eu
Falcons vs. Broncos Score Prediction: Broncos 38 – Falcons 28