Handicapping Broncos vs. Falcons

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One thing the NFL has done a good job on with their televised games is matchups. At least early on in the season they look like great games. Once the true teams start separating from the mediocre than will see how the games shape up around mid season and beyond. Tonight’s game offers a true test for the Atlanta Falcons to see if they are ready to rise to the NFL’s elite status.

The over/under in this game is set at 52 while the Falcons have the typical home minus three line. It’s only been one game but Matt Ryan came out as if he is ready to redeem himself all in one game, after his horrible playoff exit performance against the Giants. While the passing game was prolific against the Kansas City Chiefs, questions are high with their ground game and Michael Turner. Turner had only 30 yards rushing on ten carries.

If he has the same type of ineffectiveness, the Broncos may be able to drop more in pass coverage and get a deflection on a tipped ball that leads to a big turnover.

Atlanta is one of those teams that just performs at a higher level at home. There comes a point in time when a receiver has that matchup they covet. Both Roddy White and Julio Jones know they form the best duo on the NFL at receiver. The way the Falcons move them around to pose mismatches, they’ll both likely get some time with Champ Bailey trying to blanket them.

The key word there is try. The old veteran is going to have his hands full like the rest of the NFL does, but I think he gives up two touchdowns in this game.

It’ll be interesting to see how Manning responds if the Broncos get down by more than ten points. Can he remain calm? In his last few years with Indianapolis he became forceful with the football which led to a higher than normal rate of interceptions.

The home field will prove to be too tough. Take Atlanta and the over in this high scoring affair.


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