Oakland is coming off a bye and they can hopefully put together a solid performance to get this season going.
Carson Palmer against Matt Ryan is a mismatch on paper since one is running for the MVP whereas the other is just trying to maintain his job and get a few victories down the road.
Darren McFadden needs to run the ball a lot more effectively and going up against the No. 27 ranked rushing defense could allow him to go bonkers on a few plays.
However, Atlanta’s secondary has been loaded with ball hawks all season long regardless of the quarterback. The coming out party was on Monday Night last month against Peyton Manning, picking him off three times in the first quarter.
Thomas DeCoud is playing like a superstar these days with 4 picks and William Moore (safety studs) has two more in his back pocket.
Dunta Robinson and Asante Samuel are legit corners too, which makes this team nearly impossible to complete consistent passes against.
In fact, they rank seventh allowing just 203 yards per game, but that is an amazing stat since they have been leading in every ball game this season.
There are a few future tough opponents on the slate such as Philadelphia (road), Dallas and New York (NFC). Outside of those three potential playoff teams, nobody else on the entire slate will likely make the playoffs.
Another note is that these Falcons are already an astonishing 3-0 against AFC West competition, knocking the Raiders off would complete the sweep. They are certainly capable and many are anticipating a blowout once the fourth quarter gets going.
Matty ‘Ice’ is the MVP for a reason through five games, he find his targets and he always hits them in strides. There are so many signal-callers these days that are failing to lead their receivers and many leave their guys out to the dry.
Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez have been world beaters these days and nobody on this slate looks as if they can slow them down. The old story will always go though as such: “If you cannot win in January then cares what you accomplish through 16 games.”
Man, college football is king but if 16 games isn’t enough date then I don’t know what the hell is. Still, the playoffs means everything and Atlanta needs to position themselves with the home field advantage.
While they did let us down against Green Bay two seasons ago, a second time is unlikely to happen in my opinion. While the Wild Cards are cleaning house these days, that lucky fifth or sixth is due to lose this season in the opening weekend.
The offense is clicking on all cylinders and the defense gets no love for all the turnovers (14 forced, 13.5 sacks) and chaos they have put on opponents.
This game could stay close early on if the ATL comes out flat, but they will win this one with a workman-like performance.
Network: CBS (707)
Time: 1 p.m. Eastern
Experts Pick: Falcons by 9
Danny V’s Pick: Falcons 34, Raiders 17