On Monday night, the Atlanta Falcons will be playing for their first win against the undefeated Green Bay Packers. Kickoff is set for 8:50 pm ET on ESPN.
Can Green Bay Stay Perfect?
The 2020 season has been somewhat unique in that we have been able to identify the elite teams as well as the worst teams rather quickly, and those opinions have held through the better part of four weeks. This game represents the opinions of both instances being true. The Green Bay Packers are very good, and the Falcons are not.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is currently in a form that reminds people why he is considered an all-time great. The two-time NFL MVP has a 67% completion rate along with a 9-0 touchdown/interception ratio. He has also not fumbled the football this season as the offensive line has done a masterful job keeping Rodgers upright, allowing just two sacks through the first three games of the season.
With a new week does come new challenges for Rodgers as Davante Adams is still questionable with a hamstring injury, which is compounded by Allen Lazard hitting the IR with an abdominal injury. Lazard was the beneficiary of Adams’ absence last week, reeling in 6 catches for 146 yards and a score.
Another injury concern is that of center Corey Linsley, who is dealing with a groin injury. He is questionable for Monday’s game as well, though he did play 100% of the snaps in Week 3.
The Packers are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games. They hold a 9-1 straight up record in their previous ten and 7-0 in their last seven home games.
They have hit the over in each of their previous five games, and in their last five games against NFC opponents. However, the Packers are just 1-6 in their previous seven games against the Atlanta Falcons.
Have the Falcons’ wings been clipped?
Whether or not Atlanta’s 0-3 start is Dan Quinn’s fault or not, he will eventually be the person that has to answer for it. The continued failure to close out games while possessing double-digit leads is becoming a cultural issue during the Quinn regime.
Matt Ryan has not been terrible statistically this season, but he and the offense tend to go ice cold after promising starts. The Atlanta defense is once again a negative aspect of this team.
The Falcons are currently 31st in the league against the pass and 13th in the NFL against the run. They are dead last in the league in points allowed at 36.0 per game.
For betting purposes, the Falcons are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games and 5-0 ATS in their previous five road games. The total has gone over in four of their previous six and in each of their last five games against the NFC.
Even at 57, I am tempted to take the over as this has all the makings of a shootout. The recent trends also support this play, but Davante Adams is banged up, and Lazard is out for Green Bay. Plus, the Falcon’s receiving corp is not at full health, so it could be close.
As far as the spread goes, I’ll lay the six points with the Packers at home. The Falcons just are not a team I feel comfortable placing a bet on right now.