What has happened to the Atlanta Falcons? In what was looking like a season that was going to result in a runaway with the NFC South. The Falcons opened the season with five straight victories. Now they have lost six straight games. In their last eight games they’ve gone 1-7. And in that one win, the Falcons barely beat the Titans by a score of 10-7. A difficult time for the Falcons who were looking like the comeback team of 2015. The season does not come down to the first five weeks of the season though, the Falcons have found that out the hard way. Matt Ryan has regressed significantly with a quarterback rating of 86.8. Ryan and Julio Jones connected on a frequent basis, and are still connecting, Jones is in fact leading the NFL in receiving yards with 1426 yards. But just like the Lions who have had a dominating option at receiver, it hasn’t amounted to success in the playoffs. In other words, a bonafide receiver does not result in anything of substance. Look at the New England Patriots, they haven’t had a receiver since Randy Moss and didn’t win a Super Bowl with him. They did, however, last year with Julian Edelman as their top option.
Despite this dreadful skid, the Falcons have an outside shot at making the postseason. Outside meaning they have no margin for error and they need help elsewhere. I have no confidence in them, nor should I have any confidence in the Falcons at this point. They have completely tanked and look like the team we witnessed last year instead of the Matt Ryan and Falcons that used to be unbeatable at home. The Falcons with a 6-7 record make the trip south to sunny Florida for a meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags for their standards are having an okay season, sporting a record of 5-8. There have been spots where we have seen signs of much improvement.
Quarterback Blake Bortles has played much better this season and has evolved into the QB that the Jags dreamed of when they drafted him. There is time to get better in the offseason, but take notice that Bortles passed for 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in his rookie campaign, only to improve on that tenfold with 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and we still have more games to go. Bortles can add to his good fortunes by adding to the Falcons’ misery today.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Jaguars -3(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Falcons vs. Jaguars Pick:
This would make for a new low point for the Falcons against the Jaguars. Another loss would undoubtedly send this team into disarray in the locker room. Head coach Mike Smith was fired because of this same thing, he couldn’t get the locker room to operate as a team. Here we are again, and it’s time for GM Thomas Dimitroff to be on the hot seat. Their defense has improved some, actually, considering how bad they were a year ago, they have improved quite a bit. A last place unit a year ago, the Falcons have allowed 22.7 points per game this season. Much better. We will see how the defense does in a do or die spot against a much better offense than last year.
The Falcons’ offense stands at 7th in the NFL, they are moving the ball, but only have 21.5 points per game to show for it. Just look at Julios’ numbers, he has accumulated 1426 yards but only has 6 touchdowns. The Jaguars are 21st in the league and are allowing 27.5 points per game. I have the Jags as a 1 point favorite in this game. I don’t think they should be getting 3 points here. They either lose straight up or pull off a nail biter in the 4th quarter. The Falcons need this one. Look for a focused effort and for them to put the six game losing streak behind them.
PICK: FALCONS +3 (-110)