The Atlanta Falcons barely made it into the NFC playoffs and they’ll head to Philly for a Divisional Round game with the Eagles as a favorite to return to the Super Bowl. It’s not going to be easy and the Falcons will have to win on the road, but they cleared their first hurdle with an impressive win over the Los Angeles Rams, giving the Falcons postseason victories in consecutive years for the first time in franchise history.
Playing a near flawless game, the Falcons never trailed and used their playoff experience to overcome the exuberant L.A. team. A lot has been said about the Falcons offense taking a step back this season, but that was almost expected after the lofty numbers they amassed last year. The numbers fell off considerably, but the Falcons did exactly what they had to on Saturday. With precision passing from Matt Ryan and 106 combined rushing yards from Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, the Falcons held the football for over 37 minutes.
And their ability to control the clock kept the Rams offense off the field. Meanwhile, the under-appreciated defense did enough to fluster Jared Goff when it was on the field. Atlanta surrendered 361 yards, but the D stiffened when it had to, allowing just one touchdown on four LA red zone trips. And they turned a pair of miscues into scores, which are huge in the postseason. The Falcons slowed the league’s highest scoring offense and they get an Eagles team that will be playing without Carson Wentz, and that makes them a confident group.
2017 Record: 11-6
2017 ATS Record: 8-9
2017 Over/Under Total Record: 5-12
Current Super Bowl Odds: +815
Current Odds to Win NFC: +378
Current Odds to Win NFC South: N/A
Current NFL Odds: Falcons -3
Over/Under Total: 41
Falcons vs. Eagles NFL Preview: The Falcons made it all the way to the Super Bowl last season and they are very much alive to make a return trip after last week’s win against the Rams. The Falcons get to play a Philadelphia team without Wentz and Atlanta seems to be playing better than they have all season. The Atlanta offense is still sporadic, but the defense has been much better lately, allowing just 16.3 points per game in their last six games. Continue
Wild Card Round: Falcons 26, Rams 13
ATS Result: Falcons +6.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 48
The Falcons turned a pair of Rams mistakes into 10 points and that proved to be the difference. Atlanta recovered a muffed punt in the first quarter and scored the first points on the first of four Matt Bryant field goals. The lead grew to 13-0 following Freeman’s touchdown run early in the second, but the Rams made a charge scoring 10 points in the final minutes of the first half. The lead was cut to six early in the fourth, but Julio Jones sealed the outright win with a scoring grab with less than six minutes to play.
Week 17: Falcons 22, Panthers 10
ATS Result: Falcons -5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 44.5
The Falcons scored just one touchdown on Matt Ryan’s scoring pass to Freeman in the first quarter, but five Matt Bryant field goals proved to be difference as the Falcons secured a return trip to the postseason with a cover win. Atlanta held Cam Newton to 180 yards passing and intercepted him three times, twice in the fourth quarter with the outcome still in doubt. It was enough to keep the score below the closing total for a fifth straight game.
Week 16: Saints 23, Falcons 13
ATS Result: Saints -5.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 52
The Falcons were shut out in the first half and twice turned the ball over after reaching the Saints 1 in the second half, leading to a disappointing loss that ruined any chance of winning the division. Atlanta’s only touchdown came late in the fourth quarter when trailing by 17 points and it wasn’t enough to prevent a second straight ATS loss while falling well below the closing total.
Week 15: Falcons 24, Buccaneers 21
ATS Result: Buccaneers +7
Over/Under Total Result: Under 49.5
The Falcons had plenty of help in their win, getting a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown and a 57-yard Matt Bryant field goal to build a 10-point halftime lead. The Bucs made it interesting, however. Jameis Winston’s third TD pass with four minutes left got them within three and the Bucs got the ball back, driving into field goal range in the closing seconds. But Patrick Murray’s potential game-tying kick sailed wide and the Falcons escaped with their second straight cover win.
Week 14: Falcons 20, Saints 17
ATS Result: Falcons -2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 51.5
Ryan got past his three picks by throwing a game-tying touchdown pass to Mohamad Sanu early in the fourth then driving the Falcons into position for Matt Bryant’s eventual game-winning 52-yard field goal. The defense came up big in the second half to allow for the comeback, forcing three punts before Deion Jones ended the contest with an end zone interception with less than two minutes left.
Week 13: Vikings 14, Falcons 9
ATS Result: Vikings +2
Over/Under Total Result: Under 48.5
The Falcons took a 9-7 lead early in the second half on Matt Bryant’s third field goal, but that would be the extent of their scoring. Minnesota navigated 89-yards on its second possession of the half for the go-ahead score chewing up over eight minutes off the clock. Bryant missed a field goal with 4:58 left and Atlanta never got the ball back.
Week 12: Falcons 34, Buccaneers 20
ATS Result: Falcons -10.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 47
The Falcons nearly squandered a 27-6 lead, allowing the Bucs to get within a touchdown and driving for a tying score. But a defensive stop midway through the fourth quarter prevented the equalizer and the Falcons drove for the clinching touchdown to secure the ATS win and cash the over.
Week 11: Falcons 34, Seahawks 31
ATS Result: Falcons -1
Over/Under Total Result: Over 46
It was the best Monday night game of the season and possibly the game of the year with the Falcons prevailing and covering the spread after Blair Walsh’s 52-yard game-tying field goal attempt fell a few feet short. Atlanta couldn’t have asked for a better start in a hostile environment, getting a long return of the opening kickoff and cashing in a few plays later. Trufant’s interception on Seattle’s first possession was turned into seven points and the Falcons had a 14-0 bulge halfway through the first quarter and held on.
Week 10: Falcons 27, Cowboys 7
ATS Result: Falcons -3.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 49
Atlanta allowed the first touchdown of the game following a Ryan interception, but they settled down after that and rattled off the next 27 points to cover the 3.5-point spread. Ryan threw a pair of short touchdown passes and the defense throttled Dallas, who played without Ezekiel Elliott. Clayborn had six of Atlanta’s eight sacks and the defense held the Boys to just 233 yards for an easy under win.
Week 9: Panthers 20, Falcons 17
ATS Result: Panthers +3
Over/Under Total Result: Under 42
Julio Jones will probably catch the next 100 passes thrown his way, but he’ll be remembered for the one he didn’t catch on Sunday. Jones dropped a sure touchdown that would have cut into Carolina’s lead. Instead the Falcons turned the ball over losing precious time off the clock. They scored later in the fourth to pull within three, but turned the ball over on downs again on their final possession, losing a fourth straight ATS.
Week 8: Falcons 25, Jets 20
ATS Result: Jets +6.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 43.5
In less than ideal conditions the Falcons played a strong game. They fell behind early, but Ryan was able to twice rally his team from a 7-point deficit. Atlanta got some help with two missed field goals and a muffed punt that was recovered deep in New York territory. With a chance to put the game away and cover the line with a touchdown, the Falcons instead settled for three, dropping their fourth straight ATS.
Week 7: Patriots 23, Falcons 7
ATS Result: Patriots -3
Over/Under Total Result: Under 56.5
The Falcons amassed 343 yards of offense, but they converted just 2 of 9 third downs and were 1 of 4 in red zone chances, that pretty much summed up their evening. The usually reliable Matt Bryant had a field goal blocked when the game was still scoreless and missed another kick early in the third quarter that could’ve shifted the momentum. The Falcons scored late to break the shutout, but it wasn’t enough to cover the line and they dropped their third straight ATS.
Week 6: Dolphins 20, Falcons 17
ATS Result: Dolphins +14
Over/Under Total Result: Under 46
The Falcons let a 17-0 halftime advantage slip away and lost their second straight as a big favorite. They managed just 100 yards of offense and executed just 23 plays in the second half, the last resulting in a Ryan pick when the Falcons were in field goal range to potentially tie the game. Mistakes proved costly with the Dolphins scoring after a roughing penalty negated an interception and a long snap on a punt hit the up-back.
Week 5: BYE
Week 4: Bills 23, Falcons 17
ATS Result: Bills +8
Over/Under Total Result: Under 48
We didn’t expect the Falcons to go undefeated. We certainly didn’t expect them to lose to the Bills. Ryan tossed two interceptions and his fumble was returned for a touchdown which allowed the Bills to pull off the upset. The offense looked out of sync with receivers Jones and Sanu both exiting with injuries and it produced the lowest point total of the season, allowing the under to cash.
Week 3: Falcons 30, Lions 26
ATS Result: Falcons -3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 51
The only Week 3 matchup between unbeaten teams was a doozy. The Falcons didn’t succumb to Detroit’s late-game heroics and escaped with the victory while covering the spread for a second consecutive week. Atlanta overcame Ryan’s three picks and stopped Golden Tate short of the endzone on the game’s final play to secure the outcome.
Week 2: Falcons 34, Packers 23
ATS Result: Falcons -3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 55
Atlanta used a 24-0 scoring run over the second quarter and into the third to turn a tie game into a rout, easily covering the 3-point spread. The Falcons caught a break against a short-handed Packers team, but that didn’t stop them from pouring it on. They did allow two fourth quarter touchdowns to make the score closer and cash the over.
Week 1: Falcons 23, Bears 17
ATS Result: Bears +6.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 48
The Falcons never trailed in the game, but it was much closer than most expected. The Bears twice tied the contest, but each time the Falcons responded. They took a 20-10 lead early in the fourth quarter on an 88-yard pass play to Austin Hooper and you thought the Bears would lie down after that. They didn’t and climbed right back into the contest with a score of their own. The Falcons settled for three field goals after failing twice in three red zone opportunities, keeping the score below the closing total.
Preseason Record: 0-4
ATS Record: 0-4
Over/Under Total Record: 1-3
The Falcons were an over bettors dream last season, playing above the closing total 13 times in 16 regular season games and another three times during their playoff run. And they were consistently good, scoring at least 30 points 11 times and reaching the 40-point mark on six occasions. Opponents will try to adjust, but the Falcons have balance in their attack which will allow them to score a ton of points again.
Week 1: Falcons at Bears, Sunday, September 10, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 2: Falcons vs. Packers, Sunday, September 17, 8:30 p.m. ET -- NC
Week 3: Falcons at Lions, Sunday, September 24, 1 p.m. ET -- FOX
Week 4: Falcons vs. Bills, Sunday, October 1, 1 p.m. ET -- CBS
Week 5: Bye Week
Week 6: Falcons vs. Dolphins, Sunday, October 15, 1 p.m. ET -- CBS
Week 7: Falcons at Patriots, Sunday, October 22, 8:30 p.m. ET -- NBC
Week 8: Falcons at Jets, Sunday, October 29, 1 p.m. ET -- FOX
Week 9: Falcons at Panthers, Sunday, November 5, 1 p.m. ET -- FOX
Week 10: Falcons vs. Cowboys, Sunday, November 12, 4:25 p.m. ET -- FOX
Week 11: Falcons at Seahawks, Monday, November 20, 8:30 p.m. ET -- ESPN
Week 12: Falcons vs. Buccaneers, Sunday, November 26, 1 p.m. ET -- FOX
Week 13: Falcons vs. Vikings, Sunday, December 3, 1 p.m. ET -- FOX
Week 14: Falcons vs. Saints, Thursday, December 7, 8:25 p.m. ET -- NBC/NFL Network
Week 15: Falcons at Buccaneers, Monday, December 18, 8:30 p.m. ET -- ESPN
Week 16: Falcons at Saints, Sunday, December 24, 1 p.m. ET -- FOX
Week 17: Falcons vs. Panthers, Sunday, December 31, 1 p.m. ET -- FOX
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