While the Atlanta Falcons face an old anguish, New England PatriotsThey can be identified with Taylor Swift’s performance of “Saturday Night Live” touring the country. This team knows very well how Patriots Tore them apart nearly four years ago, a near-28-3 Super Bowl win turned 34-28 into a devastating overtime loss from which they have never recovered.
The damage of Patriots he’s deep, part of a 23-year losing streak that is an embodiment of a team that never gets over the hump. The Falcons they remain in limbo, a 4-5 team fraught with inconsistencies after a 43-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Their scoring margin of minus 85 is the second worst in the NFC, only ahead of the winless Detroit Lions as they have only beaten a team with a winning record this season.
It seems like this is not a good time for Patriots come to town. After dismantling the Cleveland Browns 45-7, New England has won four consecutive games, the second-best active streak in the NFL behind Tennessee. The rookie quarterback Mac Jones is growing by leaps and bounds, a clear favorite for offensive rookie of the year and combined with a dynamic group of young players. Add an expert defense on forcing turnovers and the head coach’s team Bill Belichick he’s shaping himself to become a Super Bowl competitor.
Perhaps the best hope for the Falcons is that if we have learned anything about NFL This season, good teams are affected by Jekyll-and-Hyde syndrome. The same Cowboys who defeated the Falcons last week they were nearly eliminated by the Denver Broncos the week before; the Pats they have a 3-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins on their 2021 resume. Anything can and will happen, especially during the three short days of rest surrounding “Thursday Night Football” that level the playing field.
Will the Patriots avoid the same lifeless performance that caused those Dolphins to upset the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night? Or the Falcons will they fall flat on their faces against an enemy that always seems to cut through them? A victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Atlanta would be the first in seven games against New England dating back to November 1998.
Time and Channel Falcons vs Patriots
Kickoff: Thursday, November 18 at 5:20 pm PT / 8:20 pm ET in the United States. 7:20 pm in Mexico.
TV: FOX / NFL Network in the United States. Fox Sports in Mexico.
Spread: Patriots -7
Three things to keep in mind
1.- Mac Jones vs Matt Ryan
These two quarterbacks are heading this week in two very different directions. Jones just had the best game of his career in the NFL, with 19 of 23 completions with three touchdown passes, the most of his career, and completely dismantled the Browns defense early on. Your head coach, Kevin Stefanski, pointed to Jones on his post-race presser as the reason his team was beaten so badly.
On the other hand is Ryan, whose terrible flop with no touchdown, two interceptions and 9 of 21 against the Cowboys produced a 21.4 passer rating. That’s the lowest of his 14-year career at the NFL as a starter, ending the game on the bench when substitute Josh Rosen finished it with the Falcons for 40 points.
The 36-year-old veteran is trying to put that performance in the rearview mirror.
“It got ugly quickly,” he said. Ryan after Sunday’s game. “Days like today happen… That’s part of being mentally tough. You know that when they knock you down, you have to get back up quickly ”.
The Falcons They are at a crucial moment with their franchise quarterback; Another losing streak at the end of the season gives them a top 10 pick in the draft and a chance to move on in 2022. To be fair, Ryan it has suffered from the lack of a supporting cast on offense. Top wide receiver Calvin Ridley is on injured reserve battling mental health issues. No one else in that position has more than 194 total yards in nine games. While rookie tight end Kyle Pitts has been sensational, racking up 40 receptions and 606 yards, he can’t do it alone.
Compare that to Jones, whose supporting cast has slowly developed around him in unexpected places. It’s not veteran free agent Nelson Agholor leading the offense, but Kendrick bourne, a 26-year-old wide receiver who racked up 98 yards and a touchdown against the Browns. The young man Jakobi meyers entered the end zone after setting the record for the NFL of more yards per reception in his career (about 1,522) without a touchdown. Then there’s tight end Hunter Henry, adding two TDs of his own for his first multi-touchdown game since signing with New england this low season.
You get the picture. So that Atlanta able to compete, his young offensive core must be stepped up in the same way, players like Olamide Zaccheaus shed their cloak of invisibility and provide options for Ryan in the countryside.
2.- What running game is going on?
One of the best offensive options of the Falcons, for weeks, has been the corridor Cordarrelle Patterson. But in another case of bad timing, Patterson he could be out for a couple of weeks with a sprained ankle, leaving him in doubt for Thursday night’s competition.
The 776 yards of total offense of Patterson they were a bright spot, especially against a Patriots defense weaker against the run (14th) than the pass (8th). The potential replacement Mike davis he’s averaging just 3.3 yards per carry; Wayne gallman he was ineffective in garbage time against the Cowboys. It will be a challenge to run the ball without Patterson in the countryside.
Compare that to Rhamondre Stevenson, the rookie running back who burst onto the scene for the Patriots this month. The fourth-round draft pick of the NFL he’s settled into offense (spot a theme here?), peaking with his first 100-yard running game against the Browns last week. Brandon bolden is playing well the old role of Kevin Faulk for the Patriots, complementing the attack with an average of 5.6 yards per carry on just 25 carries.
The defense of the Falcons he’s weak in the middle, ranking 21st against the run and allowing an average of 139.5 yards in his last four games. Wait for the offensive coordinator of the Patriots, Josh McDaniels, I used a lot of Stevenson early, opening up for Jones the way the Cowboys put the ball down 37 times, scoring three touchdowns on the ground last Sunday.
3.- Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers
The defense of the Patriots has risen up the charts in recent weeks, churning out 17 turnovers to tie for fourth in the NFL. They are especially dangerous in passing defense, where their 14 turnovers are second only to the Bills. The defense of the Falcons has just eight in nine games, an anemic performance in which they have also produced 11 sacks, the worst in the season. NFL.
Meanwhile, the Pats They’ve increased the wick, scoring two defensive touchdowns and holding opponents to just 12.5 points per game during their four-game winning streak. A shift to zone coverage has been instrumental in reducing the big plays allowed in the secondary, while linebacker Matthew judon he’s terrorizing opposing quarterbacks (three sacks during this stretch).
The Falcons and Ryan They need to change their rotation margin from -5 this season to have a chance. That seems unlikely with a starting quarterback who has thrown five of his eight interceptions this season in just the last four games.
Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots LIVE
Belichick he’s a mastermind when it comes to keeping his team focused. The Pats They are the only undefeated road team in the AFC (4-0) and understand the potential for Thursday night to be a cheat game with Tennessee looming next Sunday.
They will appear ready to play against an injured team of the Falcons you just got punched in the mouth. It won’t be pretty. Expect Jones to continue to develop and that fans of the Falcons keep evolving to the point where they might be calling Rosen for the fourth quarter, an almost unthinkable prospect considering how Ryan has been the face of its franchise for more than a decade.
It is not the fault of Ryan, honestly. But he will take the blame for a Falcons team reeling from falling apart, a sentiment his fans know all too well.
Prediction: Patriots 38, Falcons 17
Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots, Falcons vs Patriots, New England Patriots Last modified: November 18, 2021
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Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots LIVE Time, Channel, Where to watch Week 11 NFL 2021