The Atlanta Falcons look to start the season out at a perfect 4-0 at home under the Georgia Dome. It initially wasn’t looking so great that the Falcons were going to have that chance after suffering some adversity last week against the Dallas Cowboys. When it was announced Tony Romo was out, it surely looked like an easy win for the Falcons. The Cowboys jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead, which had Cowboys’ fans rejoicing, and had to have Vegas rejoicing as there was plenty of public money all over the Falcons. Enter Brandon Weeden. Weeden threw an ill-advised pass right to the Falcons, turning the momentum directly in the Falcons’ corner. When they got the momentum they did not look back, exchanging the 14-0 deficit for a big 39-29 win against the Cowboys. The Cowboys had high hopes the defense would be able to lead the way with Romo and Dez Bryant absent from the lineup. Wishful thinking though, because the Cowboys are a still team that go and fall with their offense.
I suspect if the Cowboys have Tony Romo in that game the Falcons would be looking at 2-1, but as it is, the Falcons are 3-0 and look like one of the best teams in the NFL. If you were a reader of my preseason articles, you would have noted I said the Falcons would be a team to look out for this season. We are only three weeks in, so I’m not saying I’m right or wrong on the matter, but they’ve been looking good in the small sample size we have. They welcome the Houston Texans on Sunday.
I’m not sure what to make of the Texans. Well, okay, they just aren’t a very good team. There is some defense on their side to be excited about, but in the NFL today, that isn’t going to get the job done. If there is no offense, then there is no team in my opinion. What the Texans have is about zero offense and I feel that they do not have their franchise quarterback on the roster. Brian Hoyer? Ryan Mallett? Eh no. They’ve landed on Mallett as a starter, for now. The long-time New England Patriot, backup of Tom Brady, is finally having an opportunity to show if he can be a starter. The results are still TBA, but I am not so sure about Mallett. He will look to slow the Falcons down today on the road. Find my NFL pick below.
Houston Texans vs. Atlanta Falcons NFL Pick
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Texans vs. Falcons Pick:
Remember when Matt Ryan was like 30-2 or some crazy record like that at home? Yeah, I do too, in an age where nobody wanted to play the Falcons and Ryan, especially at home. The Falcons appear to be regaining some of that swagger that gave him his 30-2 record at home. At the moment Julio Jones is the best receiver in the NFL. It appears that the Falcons made the right decision in trading up for him some years ago. Jones has that rare combination of immense size and speed. He has made Matt Ryan’s life a lot easier without a doubt. Through three games, the Falcons are 3rd in the NFL in total yardage. They are averaging 411.7 yards per game and scoring 30 points a game. Through the air the Falcons are trailing only the Patriots, as Ryan is passing for 305.3 yards per game.
The Texans’ offense is so bad that it is propping their defense more than they should be. Also, there is the JJ Watt effect on Houston. Because Watt is on the Texans, there is an inclination to believe that the Texans have this vaunted defense. This isn’t exactly the truth, though. The Texans have a good defense, it isn’t great. They are currently 12th in the NFL, allowing 332 yards per game. That doesn’t look very vaunted to me, and the only reason their numbers look that good is because they were playing a Jameis Winston led Buccaneers team last week. A game in which they won 19-9. I believe the Texans are going to need more than 19 points to win this game. I suspect the Falcons score around their average in the 27-30 range, which I think will be enough to give them the cover. I thought we would have a higher line in this matchup, but I will gladly roll with the -6.5 on Atlanta.
PICK: FALCONS -6.5 (-110)