Nov 18, 2021
The New England Patriots (-6.5) have won four straight games but they need to flip the page quickly in order to make it five in a row: the Patriots will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons on Thursday Night Football.
Led by former league MVP Matt Ryan, the Falcons offense has had a tough time consistently moving the ball or reaching the end zone this season. Regardless of the mode of attack, the unit is ranked among the least efficient in the game across the board. While Atlanta’s offense has been a disappointment this season, the defense has been even worse. Ranking among the worst teams in the league in stopping opponents from putting up points or moving the ball through the air, the group has struggled all year long. If there is one positive, though, it is its ability to stop the run — but even that can only get you so far. Without number one wide receiver Calvin Ridley and dangerous jack-of-all-trades Cordarrelle Patterson, who is expected to miss Thursday’s game due to an ankle injury, the Falcons offense does not feature many big names. One does stand out, however: Kyle Pitts, the fourth overall selection of this year’s draft. Already one of the better receiving tight ends in football, Pitts is a matchup nightmare and Matt Ryan’s favorite target. Atlanta’s defense is similar to the offense in that there are not a lot of household names. That said the group features some talented players — led by defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and linebacker Deion Jones. One name in particular might stand out from a Patriots perspective, though: Duron Harmon played for the Patriots between 2013 and 2019, and helped the team win three Super Bowls along the way. Patriots 22-10 Falcons.