The Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers headline Monday Night Football in Week 4. They have the late slot after the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs pushed their start time back. After Cam Newton received the news of a positive coronavirus test, the NFL waited word on tests from other players on the Patriots. They all came back negative, so playing on Monday has been made possible. That’s not to say we can’t have a positive test come back on Monday morning.
The Packers and Falcons are not dealing with a coronavirus issue, knock on wood, so there is a much better chance that this game will be played. While the virus isn’t impacting either team, injuries are with regard to both sides.
The Packers might be without both Devante Adams and Allen Lazard. We know that Lazard is done for at least a month after undergoing surgery to repair a core muscle injury. The status of Adams tonight is a little murkier, though. He’s officially listed as questionable, and may be a game-time decision.
On the other side of the ball, the Falcons may be without Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Jones and Ridley are both questionable to play at home against the Packers. It does appear that Jones will be ready to play after being absent last week, though. There are a lot of unknowns with star players going into Monday night, so be sure to pay attention to the injury report leading up to game-time. Head below for our free Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers props picks for October 5, 2020.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 4, 2020
Aaron Jones Rushing Yards
There are question marks over several players this evening because of injury concerns, but Aaron Jones is scheduled to start. He will be the focal point of the offense if Devante Adams can’t play, and even if he can play, that should help give Jones more room to run. The defense will have to honor Adams’ presence on the field, so that’d help take pressure away from him. If Adams doesn’t play, then the Packers are going to feed Jones and then feed him some more on Monday night.
Without Lazard and Adams, the Packers No. 1 target in the passing game is going to be Marquez Valdes-Scantling. No disrespect to Valdes-Scantling, who is a fine complementary receiver, but he isn’t a No. 1 receiver. That will leave Jones as one of the only dangerous weapons in the Packers’ offense. Aaron Rodgers can make any receiver look better than he is, so that’s not to say they won’t be able to move the ball, though Jones is going to play a big role in the offense tonight. Expect him to have a productive night running the football on the Falcons’ defense.
Aaron Jones Receiving Yards
This ties into what I noted above. Aaron Jones is going to be a workhorse in this game for the Packers. They are going to get him involved in different ways, including on the ground and through the air. He’s developed into a reliable target for Rogers as a receiver. Not only with screens and short dump offs out of the backfield, but Jones has lined up as a slot receiver at times. He is a dynamic player that could make a living as a slot receiver if he wasn’t a running back.
With the Packers banged up at the wide receiver position, look for Matt LaFleur to get creative. He doesn’t have to get overly creative, because Jones can handle being a receiver but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Jones lined up as a receiver more often tonight. That’s especially true if Adams is not healthy enough to play, and he won’t play unless he’s feeling 100%.
No Lazard and Adams would mean Valdes-Scantling as the No. 1 target. Depth would be a concern, but Jones as a target for Rodgers would help rectify that in a sense. The Falcons have been miserable against the pass, with 350.3 passing yards allowed per game, so that will help Rodgers. This total looks way too low. Expect Jones to record at least 30 yards as a receiver on Monday night in Green Bay.
Matt Ryan Pass Completions
This prop is pretty simple for me on Matt Ryan. It’s not because the Falcons want to pass the ball around this much, but I think the Packers are going to force their hand. I don’t believe the Falcons will be able to just hand the ball off to Todd Gurley in this one, not with their defense. Ryan will likely have to make up for his team’s abysmal defense once again. In other words, expect Ryan to fire away often on Monday night.
The Packers’ offense might be banged up, but they should still be able to move the ball and put on points on the Falcons at Lambeau Field. Lining up and playing smashmouth football probably won’t work for the Falcons, as they might be playing from behind in the first quarter on the road. With Julio Jones most likely playing tonight after missing last week, that should help open up the passing game for Ryan and the Falcons. Look for him to complete more than 24 passes at Lambeau in Green Bay tonight.