After getting routed by Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs last week, the Cleveland Browns welcome Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons to FirstEnergy Stadium. At 4-4 on the season, it’s a big game for the Falcons who are getting close to must-win mode if they want to reach the playoffs. Note that this is after three wins in a row for the Falcons. So, they’ve done a find job of clawing back into the picture, but they are still in a tough spot in the NFC.
The Falcons suffered a couple of heartbreakers against the Saints and Bengals. They took the Saints to overtime, a 43-37 loss, and then lost by a point the following week, 37-36. That was followed up by a huge 41-17 loss at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. A couple of nail biters and then a no doubter in the wrong direction. They’ve been awfully close to a 6-2 season instead of 4-4.
The Browns hope to get their first win in the post-Hue Jackson era in Cleveland. Jackson coached the Browns to just 3 wins in 40 games, so they can match his win total in less than a year if they play well down the stretch. They really should have done this before the season started to give Baker Mayfield a fresh slate to work with, but the Browns are going to Brown. With a year of experience under his belt, Mayfield will be expected to take some strides forward in his sophomore season. He’s shown enough to make people believe that he can develop into a franchise quarterback.
The defense must make some strides if they want to compete in this game, though. They were gassed running around trying to defend Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense, and now they get another gun slinger looking to exploit their secondary. Mahomes passed for 375 yards and 3 touchdowns. If we go back the week prior, the Browns had Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense picking on their defense. It’s a pretty brutal stretch for the secondary. They weren’t able to disrupt the Steelers or Chiefs, and will have to put some pressure on Matt Ryan on Sunday afternoon. Head below for our free Falcons vs. Browns pick.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Cleveland Browns NFL Week 10 Betting Odds:
vs. Browns +6(-115)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Falcons vs. Browns Pick:
The Falcons whipped the Redskins good for a final score of 38-14 last week. Matt Ryan went off for 350 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Julio Jones led all receivers with 121 yards and a touchdown, his first touchdown in what feels like forever. Calvin Ridley who was back healthy on the field, caught 6 balls for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Ridley is scheduled to play this week again after he missed the Giants game. His speed on the field provides the offense with another gear downfield. Ryan has been proficient all season long. His season is getting lost with his team’s poor record, but it was the defense that couldn’t help out in those toss-up games early in the year. Ryan has passed for 19 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
The Falcons’ offense has scored an average of 28.5 points per game, with 412.2 yards for 5th in the NFL. Ryan and the offense will look to feast on a defense who have allowed 423.9 yards per game, 30th in the NFL. The injuries are beginning to pile up high for the Browns as well. Linebacker Christian Kirksey and cornerback E.J. Gains were recently played on the IR adding to a growing list of banged up defenders.
Mayfield and the Browns will have the 28th best defense in the NFL to fire away on this week, so that does provide some relief with their defense banged up. Mayfield passed for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns last week against a weak KC defense. He is going to need more offensive output to top Ryan and the Falcons. I think they have a better chance of keeping it close against the Falcons, but this one should provide a high-scoring final score either way.