The Atlanta Falcons continue their road trip with a road in Arizona to take on the Arizona Cardinals. After the loss to Houston last week, the Falcons are in the throes of a three-game losing which they will be looking to break this weekend against the Cardinals.
The Atlanta Falcons offense continues to be incapable of putting together two halves of good football. Against Minnesota, Tennessee, and Indianapolis, the Falcons started slow and were unable to mount a comeback. Last week against Houston, the Falcons had a 17-16 lead going into halftime before getting blown out in the second half. Dirk Koetter and the Falcons offense only goal should be playing a complete game of football on Sunday.
Taking a look at the overall stats, the Falcons offense ranks 11th overall in the NFL. That’s all due to the amount Matt Ryan has had to throw the ball because of a big deficit or the lack of any running game. Of the top 11 offenses in the NFL, only two teams, Kansas City and Los Angeles Rams, are averaging more yards passing the ball per game than the Falcons. However, of those top 11 offenses, the Falcons are dead last in rushing average per game.
With the Falcons struggling on the ground, Sunday will be a good time for the team to focus on getting the rushing game going. The Arizona Cardinals’ defense is averaging 138 yards per game on the ground. Whether it’s Devonta Freeman or Ito Smith, the Falcons will need to get this running game going somehow this Sunday.
The Atlanta Falcons defense ranks in the bottom ten of the NFL in terms of total defense per game. The Falcons are giving up a whopping 378 yards per game to their opponents, pretty evenly split on the ground and through the air. It’s been a struggle for this team to get pressure on the opposing quarterbacks which have left the back end of the defense open to big plays. Last week, the Houston Texans gouged for big play after big play.
Similar to last season, the injury bug is going through the defense. Keanu Neal is gone for the season. This week, news broke that Johnathan Cyprien, newly acquired safety, would be out for the rest of the season. Desmond Trufant and Ricardo Allen have been limited in practice this week. Demonte Kazee has been a question mark all week. With the defense struggling so much, the injuries are only going to make it that much harder for them.
The Arizona Cardinals are led by a rookie quarterback, Kyler Murray. Murray has been pretty good this season, throwing for over 1100 yards with 4 TDs and 4 INTs. That’s to be expected from a rookie that is being thrown into the fire right away. Even with his young age, Murray is already one of the most dangerous QBs in the league. His combination of arm talent and speed can torch any defense, especially one as porous as the Falcons. If the Falcons aren’t better this week, they could be watching another career day from the opposing QB.
It’s becoming more difficult every week to find the optimism or hope within this Atlanta Falcons team. Amid the three-game losing streak, the Falcons have looked lifeless, unmotivated, undisciplined, badly coached. I could keep going but it feels like I’m already beating a dead horse, or falcon in this case. In my opinion, even if the Falcons do find a way to win on the road this Sunday, I don’t see this game being some catalyst to turning this season around. The season feels lost, just like the Falcons have looked lost all season.
With all of that said, I do see the Falcons pulling out a win this weekend. The Arizona Cardinals are, likely, the worst team remaining on the Falcons schedule. That is the only reason I believe the Falcons have any shot in this game. If the Falcons do lose this game, I foresee a 1-15, 2-14 type season. Yes, it could get that bad. For now, I will predict a 27-14 win for the Falcons.
Week 6 NFL Picks: I made my Week 5 picks on Twitter last week. See above.
Seahawks(-2) Over Cleveland
Seattle is a very good team being led by a very good Russell Wilson, a top-three MVP candidate this year. The Cleveland Browns are a very overhyped team led by a coach who will soon be fired, sorry Freddie, and a QB everyone wants to put in the dirt. I expect to see the Seattle defense to be all over Baker.
Philadelphia(+3) Over Minnesota
I still, and will never, believe in Kirk Cousins. I don’t care how good he looked against the New York Giants. It’s Kirk Cousins! I’ll take the road dog and the points in the Eagles.
New Orleans(+1) Over Jacksonville
This game is pretty much a pick em’. So, fine, I’ll pick the Saints. I know Gardner Minshew is good but this is the Saints. I don’t see Minshew beating the Saints. This pick is as simple as that.
Dallas(-7.5) Over NY Jets
Sam Darnold is back! It doesn’t matter. The Cowboys are the producers of the top offense in the NFL. The Jets are the proud owners of one of the worst defenses in the league. I expect Zeke and Dak to have a field day in NY.
Atlanta(-2.5) Over Arizona
It’s all about the road teams this week! Take the Falcons because I have Stockholm Syndrome and refuse to quit these Falcons!!