Week 2 of the NFL pre-season has already brought some intrigue and Friday evening will be no different. The Kansas City Chiefs are ushering in a new era of football, and they’ll travel to Georgia to do battle with the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons are a veteran group without much changing within their camp. Matt Ryan is their QB, Julio Jones remains their top target-man, and Devonta Freeman will continue to be key running out of the backfield. That’s all set and as a result, it’s not known how many reps the starters for the Falcons will actually need or end up receiving. It is worth pointing out that head coach Dan Quinn wasn’t all that impressed with his team in a 17-0 loss to the Jets in Week One, so perhaps he’ll want to see a little more from his first-teamers this week.
On the other hand the Kansas City Chiefs are expected to buck the usual trend and give new quarterback Patrick Mahomes the entire first half against Atlanta. Normally pre-season starting QB’s would only play a few series tops, but given the new situation Kansas City surely wants Mahomes to be feeling good as they prepare for Week One of the regular season.
With a new QB taking center-stage vs. the veteran-laden Falcons squad, it should be a pretty intriguing exhibition match-up from Atlanta on Friday night. The pre-season slate has been kind to us so far, so read on below for a detailed breakdown of the Chiefs/Falcons as well as a winning wager to get the weekend started off right.
Chiefs vs. Falcons Betting Odds:
Kansas City Chiefs -1 (-110)
@ Atlanta Falcons +1 (-110)
Over 40 (-110)
Under 40 (-110)
Chiefs vs. Falcons Pick:
During the pre-season it is a tad rare to see the road team open as favorites, but given Andy Reid’s insistence on his starters playing the entire first half, it is definitely warranted.
Reid wants to get Mahomes comfortable and in a groove with the rest of the offense. The youngster is a talented QB but needs to his improve with his reading of defenses, and sometimes just getting more and more reps is the best way to boost his familiarity.
Last week Atlanta looked lethargic and disinterested against the Jets, and though it’s the pre-season I think Dan Quinn will insist on a better start from his first-stringers. They took far too many penalties and their defense should relish the test to go against Kansas City’s starters for so long.
The Chiefs don’t have the best of defenses in 2018, but I really like the look of their offense. It has huge potential. Between Mahomes dishing it off to Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, or Travis Kelce – there aren’t many NFL units that can stop that quartet from moving the chains. I think Atlanta might have success at first on Friday night, but once their bench guys come in, the Chiefs should get into a groove quite easily.
As of now it is unknown how much the Falcons’ main guys will play. Both Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman didn’t suit up last week, and though they likely will against Kansas City, it won’t be for that long. The Chiefs are seemingly treating this game a lot more seriously than Atlanta, and with their starters playing for so long, I’d expect them to get the win. Beyond Mahomes, the Chiefs do have some nice depth with former veteran starters Chad Henne and Matt McGloin. Kansas City is the value side on Friday night.
PICK = Chiefs -1 (-110)