Atlanta Falcons-Tennessee Titans Preview, Week 4 NFL Picks

Atlanta Falcons, Desmond Trufant (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Desmond Trufant (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

After losing to the Indianapolis Colts last week, the Atlanta Falcons return home for another AFC South team, Tennessee Titans. The Falcons, sitting at 1-2, are in a must-win scenario this weekend.

The Atlanta Falcons will be happy to return to home this Sunday after having another bad road performance in Indianapolis last Sunday. The pressure will be on the Falcons shoulders trying to avoid a 1-3 start that could bury the season before it even gets started.

The Tennessee Titans are feeling similar pressure after losing a game to division rival Jacksonville Jaguars last Thursday. The Titans had some extra days to prepare for this game with the Falcons and will also be looking to avoid falling to 1-3 and a three-game losing streak.

It’s been a struggle early on in the season for Matt Ryan. In three games, Ryan has thrown 6 interceptions after only throwing 7 all of last season. Despite the interceptions, Ryan has been pretty good, completing 72 percent of his passes with 928 yards and 8 touchdowns. If Ryan can do a better job of protecting the ball, the Falcons offense can really go into high gear.

Marcus Mariota has continued to struggle as the Titans starting quarterback and with Ryan Tannehill breathing down his neck, Mariota will need a good game this Sunday to secure his starting position. Even with the struggles of Mariota, the Titans offense is having a decent season. Led by Derrick Henry, the Titans are averaging 22 points a game, two more than what the Falcons have done this season.

With Dan Quinn taking over as the defensive coordinator, it was assumed the Falcons defense would take a step forward this season. So far, that hasn’t been the case. The Falcons defense got lit up by the Vikings and Colts, both games on the road. Atlanta did a good job holding Philadelphia in check but still gave up plenty of offense in that game, too. Losing Keanu Neal last week was a big loss for the Falcons defense and this week will be the first game for the Falcons without their starting strong safety.

Tennessee’s defense continues to be a mystery. After shutting down Baker Mayfield and the Browns in week 1, the Titans were beaten by the Colts and Jaguars. Even in those losses, the Titans only gave up 20 points or less. Mike Vrabel, Titans head coach, is a defensive guy so expect the Titans to be ready for the Falcons offense after having extra time to prepare for the upcoming game.

Both the Falcons and Titans are looking to avoid 1-3 starts in this game. A slight advantage has to go to the Falcons for being at home. The Titans are 1-1 on the road, after going 3-5 last season, so the Titans aren’t exactly road warriors. Expect the Falcons to come out fast and ready to play after another slow and sloppy game last week against the Colts. This will not be an easy game for the Falcons to win, but as of today, the Falcons get the slight advantage from being at home and being very desperate to wipe last week’s results away. Falcons win a hard-fought and close game.

Week 4 NFL Picks
Season record: 5-5

Kansas City(-7) over Detroit

A matchup of two undefeated teams in Detroit on Sunday. Yet, one of these teams is a lot better than the other. Can you guess which is which? Mahomes will be playing in a dome for the first time in his career, which is kind of crazy. Expect Mahomes and the Chiefs to light the Lions up. Take the Chiefs.

Buffalo(+7.5) over New England

Another matchup of undefeated teams, this time in Buffalo. The Bills are playing good football and are at home so I’m taking the points with the home team. I don’t see the Bills beating the Pats but I see a tight defensive matchup in Buffalo on Sunday. Pats win but take the points with Buffalo.

New York Giants(-3) over Washington

Danny Dimes second pro start after leading the Giants to a comeback win against the Tampa Bay Bucs. The Washington Redskins are pathetic so this is an easy choice. I expect Danny Dimes to throw 2 INTs but win the game for the Giants.

Denver(-3) over Jacksonville

The Broncos are desperate for a win after starting the season 0-3. Flacco is still back there so expect this to be a low scoring game in Denver. Gardner Minshew just got his first win as a starter last week but I don’t see him going into Denver and leaving with a win. Denver is more desperate this week. Take the Broncos.

Indianapolis(-7) over Oakland

The Colts and Jacoby Brissett are real. This team can move the ball up and down the field when needed. Derek Carr and the Raiders are real bad. Raiders coming across the country for a road game so they have no shot of winning this game. Take the Colts and points.