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New England Patriots face off with Atlanta Falcons in primetime

Two of the best will face off in prime time Sunday night. Who will come out on top?

The New England Patriots (3-0) head to the Georgia Dome to face the Atlanta Falcons (1-2) in primetime Sunday night. Kickoff for the contest is at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on NBC.

Both teams have battled through injuries, the difference being that the Patriots have been able to come out on top each game. The Patriots will be without tight end Rob Gronkowski (shoulder) and Danny Amendola (groin), while running back Steven Jackson (thigh) will not suit up for the Falcons. Left tackle Sam Baker (foot/knee) is listed as questionable but should play. Cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh) is questionable to play against his former team.

Run games

The Falcons were able to amass 146 rushing yards on 30 attempts (4.9 yards per carry) last week against the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots were able to gain 156 yards on 33 attempts (4.7 ypc) last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On the year, Atlanta ranks 22nd with 90 yards per game and one touchdown, while the Patriots rank 13th with 122.7 yards a game and no touchdowns.

Both teams have been able to effectively run the ball when they choose to but have not had much success getting the ball in the end zone. The Falcons rank fifth in rush defense, giving up only 79 yards per game; the Patriots rank 22nd, giving up 120.7 yards a game.

Rookies

Rookie receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins will face off against rookie cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.

According to ProFootballFocus, Dobson has caught only 47.6 percent of passes thrown his way and Thompkins even less at 33.3 percent. They combine for six drops on the season with only three touchdowns.

Trufant has given up 11 receptions for 105 yards and zero touchdowns and Alford has given up seven receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown.

Receiver Julian Edelman should have a better game, as the Falcons have much more trouble with slot receivers like Tavon Austin and Brian Hartline this season. Edelman has caught 79.4 percent of passes targeted to him with two touchdowns. He should be going up against cornerback Robert McClain often, who has given up 18 receptions for 272 yards and two touchdowns.The majority of New England’s passings yard will come in this matchup.

In the red zone

The Patriots have only given up 11.3 points per game. They’ve had a strong defensive presence in the red zone. Can this trend continue against huge red-zone targets like receiver Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez?

Something to prove

The Patriots have done well to prove doubters wrong despite playing without three of their best offensive weapons. Quarterback Tom Brady has not put up his normal impressive stats but has been able to get it done and pull out wins with his young receiving corps.

The Falcons have only put doubt in the minds of their fans. If they want to be a Super Bowl contender, they need to start winning fast.

Although Tom Brady has never lost to Matt Ryan, the Falcons have not been two games under .500 in the Matt Ryan and Mike Smith era, nor have they lost two games in a row since 2009. Ryan has been able to beat elite quarterbacks and recent Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks in the past, with victories over Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, and Eli Manning. Can Ryan add Tom Brady to that list or will Ryan and the Falcons find themselves in a position they have never been in before at 1-3?

Final score: Atlanta Falcons 27, New England Patriots 23

2424 comments
Home of the Braves
Home of the Braves moderator

When the Saints win tonight, the Falcons should concede the division and focus on getting a WC spot and getting healthier. 

Staffords Erect Nipples
Staffords Erect Nipples

Delmas was an animal yesterday. Played really well, and get this: he's still healthy! GASPH!

Mind = Blown

Jeff_Schulz
Jeff_Schulz

Goldson gonna be suspended for sure this time

Jeff_Schulz
Jeff_Schulz

Livefyre having issues? I can't see any articles

Home of the Braves
Home of the Braves moderator

Well we saw last night why running the no huddle is out of the question, the OL gets exhausted. 

rocketman6969
rocketman6969

Really busy this morning, just wanted to pop in and say the Falcons are way to predictable in the Red zone. We also decide to be aggressive at the wrong times and go conservative for too much of the game.

While the players did not execute to the fullest last night, the biggest problem we have is coaching. And yes, I rank that above injuries.

Smitty's seat is on fire right now, IMO, and if we don't turn this season around quick, he should be gone.

TD needs help scouting OL and defensive talent. He sucks at those two areas.

That's all I have time for right now.

JVince 11
JVince 11

Childerz...


How did my bud Le'Veon Bell look yesterday??


I wanted GB to get him hardcore leading up to the draft.  i saw he had like 90 some yards and 2 TDs but did his vision and quickness impress?

LSU4LIFE
LSU4LIFE

Seattle's all time D and one of the NFL's greatest Rb's of all time yesterday carried the Seahawks yesterday.The D held the Texans to only 479 yds of total offense,including 324 yds in the 1st half,and Lynch ran all over the Texans offense for 97 yds,and the QB made no plays to win that game.

Childerz...
Childerz...

If Bush stays healthy I think the Lions win in Green Bay. 

Childerz...
Childerz...

@JVince 11  he had 90 all purpose yards like 44 rushing and 46 receivign or something... 

.

He has a great jump cut that he used to score his two TD's on... he'll be good Pitt's offense is decent they just need their defense to step up. 

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@LSU4LIFE because Wilson going 12 of 23 for 123 yards 0 TDs and 1Int was what won the game?

Big Deal
Big Deal

@Childerz... 

If your face becomes attractive, you'll be the opposite of a butterface.

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@Childerz... Dom Capers already forgot who bush is so its a foregone conclusion. 

JVince 11
JVince 11

@Childerz... I don't disagree that it isn't possible.... I think that GB just needs to make sure that Detroit never gets a full head of momentum.. 

Childerz...
Childerz...

Also I think you're going to see a severe dismantling of the Green Bay offensive line on sunday. 

Home of the Braves
Home of the Braves moderator

Thank goodness for the Braves! The Falcons are not very entertaining this year. 

JVince 11
JVince 11

@Childerz... @JVince 11 seems alright.. first game back after breaking his foot I was unsure of how his foot speed and cutting ability wsa gonna be..


I always thought his vision and agility was phenomenal.

Childerz...
Childerz...

@JVince 11 Just do what Chicago didn't do... make the turn overs when they're there. 

.

Thats the beauty of Stafford he's always going to give teams an opportunity to force a Turn over. 

rocketman6969
rocketman6969

@JVince 11 @rocketman6969 Pretty much.

Though we also have a horrid defense right now. With the way our D is playing, it's kinda fitting that we're about to start October.

Childerz...
Childerz...

@JVince 11 Idk... Bush played pretty damn well in Miami and that field is almost as shitty as Chicago's 

Staffords Erect Nipples
Staffords Erect Nipples

@Childerz... @JVince 11 that was by far his worst game of the season. If he plays like he has been, the Lions put up 50 points. But it's really easy to say that. If Cutler plays like he has been, the Bears probably win that game, or it's at least a close game.

JVince 11
JVince 11

@Childerz... @JVince 11 They were talking yesterday that Bush on grass outdoors is nothing compared to him indoors on turf.. like his stats were awful or something.