The 3-2 Atlanta Falcons will travel to New England to take on the 4-2 Patriots this Sunday night in a Super Bowl rematch. Each team extended streaks last week, which was good news for New England but not for Atlanta. The Patriots won their second game in a row with a 24 -17 victory over the New York Jets. Tom Brady set an NFL record of regular season victories for a quarterback with 187. The Falcons blew a 17-point halftime lead at home and lost 20-17 to the Miami Dolphins.
Matt Ryan struggled again as he finished last week with a quarterback rating of 61 by completing 24 of 35 passes for 248 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Ryan now has six interceptions in his last 3 games. His favorite target was Austin Hooper who had 7 catches for 48 yards. Julio Jones was second on the team with 6 catches for 72 yards. They had success running the ball with 100 yards gained on just 19 carries. Devonta Freeman led the team with 68 yards on 9 carries, which is an average of 7.6 yards per rush. Defensively, they intercepted Jay Cutler once and had 4 tackles for losses. They struggled against the run as the Dolphins gained 138 yards on 31 carries. On the Season the Falcons defense has allowed their opponents to average 24 points and 392 yards per game.
Tom Brady again led New England last week by completing 20 of his 38 passes for 257 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. His favorite targets were Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks who each had 6 receptions with Gronkowski catching both touchdowns. They also had success running the ball gaining 118 yards on 25 carries. Dion Lewis led the team with 52 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, they allowed the Jets to accumulate 424 yards of offense but did intercept Josh McCown twice and recovered a fumble. They also sacked McCown 4 times and had 8 tackles for losses. On the season, the Patriots defense has allowed their opponents to score 26.5 points and 454 yards per game. This is the worst the Patriots have played defensively in the Bill Belichick era and the 454 yards they allow is ranked the worst in the NFL.
New England will have home field advantage in this game and is favored by 3.5 points. They have only gone 2-4 against the spread this season while the Falcons have gone 2-3. Brady has thrown 13 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions this season as Matt Ryan has thrown 6 interceptions and only 6 touchdowns. Falcon’s receiver Mohamed Sanu injured his hamstring in week 4 and has returned to practice this week, his status is questionable. For New England, receiver Chris Hogan suffered a rib injury last week against the Jets and his status is also questionable for this game. Atlanta will be seeking revenge after their devastating Super Bowl loss but in his career, Brady is 92-15 at Foxborough Stadium.
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