This week the Falcons will travel to the Dog Pound to try and get a road win against the lowly Browns. The Falcons head into this game as the favorite and probably have more talent at this time then the Browns do, at QB Matt Ryan seems to have gotten past his sophomore slump that plagued him last season and Roddy White is his main target whenever he drops back to pass, Michael Turner has also been effective running the football for the Falcons and on Defense they have looked much better than last year and currently rank 15th in the league in total defense. As for the Browns they have much bigger problems, outside of Peyton Hillis there isn’t much to get excited about. They have amongst the least amount of talent in the NFL, their defense isn’t very good and their offense isn’t much better, while they were able to upset the Bengals last week, they rank in the bottom half of the league in every statistical category. Game starts at 1:00 PM EST.
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The Falcons have all the tools necessary to become a dominant Offense, but all of it hinges on whether or not Matt Ryan is a true franchise QB. They have a good offensive line and a very good running back. The key to this game will be on Defense because if the Falcons can contain Peyton Hillis, something the Bengals struggled to do last week, the Falcons will have a great shot to win this game. While the Falcons are often very inconsistent especially on Defense, I attribute that to their youth. Dunta Robinson hasn’t really been great so far, but they are finding ways to win games and that’s the important thing. Assuming that Seneca Wallace gets the start for the Browns, the Falcons will have to be aware of the fact that he will take off and run if there is room. It is always tough to beat Cleveland in Cleveland, so there is a chance this game could be closer than many think.
The Browns have a tough a schedule and are lucky to have escaped with a win against the Bengals last week. However Peyton Hillis has been an absolute monster since taking over as the featured back in Cleveland. The problem is if you’re going to base your Offense around running the football like the Browns do, you have to be able to play Defense which the Browns have not been able to do. The injury to Delhomme could have affected the passing game and maybe if he plays this week, there is hope they could do a lot better. Cleveland is going to have to play a near perfect game to win this game, but the Falcons have been shooting themselves in the foot a lot of late, so if the Browns can minimize mistakes, run the football, hit a couple passes down the field, and play good Defense there is a chance they could pull off the upset.
Falcons vs Browns Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Atlanta Falcons -3 (-115)
@Cleveland Browns+3 (-105)
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Falcons vs Browns Prediction for Week 5 Betting:
Spread Prediction (Top Play): The problem for the Falcons is that they too often underperform and play down to the level of their competition, their last two games both wins have come down to field goals with no time left to win the game. Inconsistent play plagues this team and until they get that turned around it will be difficult for anybody to consider them a legitimate threat, even though they are capable of putting points up in bunches. The Browns are playing the role of spoiler and after last week showed they can pull off a close win beating the Bengals 23-20. I know the Browns are 1-0 ATS as a home underdog this season, while the Falcons are 1-1 ATS on the road. In a game that many people may think will be a blowout could be pretty close.
Game Total Prediction: As explosive as the Falcons Offense is they simply have not been performing the way they are capable and that really worries me. The Browns are fairly scrappy and will try to hang around in this game for a while. The Browns will try to run the ball and dominate time of possession, however this may prove to be a difficult task because the Falcons do have a pretty good Defense this year and I’m sure will have game planned to stop Hillis. On Defense the Browns Matt Roth has been pretty good and seems like he may be one of the Browns better defensive players in the league. The Falcons when firing on all cylinders would be able to cover the spread themselves, but they haven’t been this year. I think the Browns will give them a game especially at home and will put up enough points to hang around late.