The Falcons look like they could be on their last legs heading into Houston. They’re beat up along the offensive line, they can’t run the ball, and they can’t seem to stop anyone on defence.
The Houston Texans are going back to the drawing board following a 16-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The hope is that they can correct their issues before their next matchup against another NFC South opponent. Houston will host the Atlanta Falcons this upcoming Sunday afternoon. The good news is the Falcons have just five sacks on the season, so maybe Deshaun Watson will have time to make decisions this week.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Falcons have really struggled against AFC opponents in recent years, including this season. Coming off back-to-back losses to the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans, Atlanta is now 1-11 straight up in its last 12 games against AFC teams. The Falcons are 0-12 against the spread (ATS) in those contests. Atlanta has also struggle on the road over the last three years, going 9-11 straight up and 5-15 ATS.
Meanwhile, Houston has split its first two home games after going 6-2 at NRG Stadium last season. The Texans have also struggled against opponents from outside of their conference in recent years. Houston is 2-5 straight up in its last seven games against NFC teams. The Texans have gone 1-6 against the spread in those contests. They are 8-4 SU in their last 12 against teams with a losing record but they’re just 6-5-1 ATS in those games.
There weren’t many positives for the Falcons in their 24-10 loss to Tennessee at home. Matt Ryan was sacked five times, he didn’t throw a touchdown pass and the Falcons running game was absolutely stuffed with Devonta Freeman managing only 28 yards on 12 carries. While the Houston offence struggled last week, the defense looked just fine. That Texans front-seven will be looking to make life miserable for Ryan and company this week with the home crowd making plenty of noise as they help cheer them along.
Meanwhile, the Falcons defence continued to struggle against the run with Derrick Henry going for 100 rushing yards on 27 carries. If Atlanta can’t slow down Houston’s running backs Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson, and if they can’t get to Watson, they are going to be in for another long day.
Watson was limited throughout the loss to the Panthers last week. The Texans quarterback was sacked six times and held to 160 yards passing and zero touchdown passes in the loss. The biggest change to the Houston offence this week will likely be more use of the play-action passing game in an effort to buy time for Watson. The Texans showed against Carolina that they could move the football on the ground with 136 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. That rushing attack will help provide the time that Watson so desperately needs to push the ball down the field.
The Falcons look like they’re on their last legs here. They’re beat up along the offensive line, they can’t run the ball and they can’t seem to stop anyone on defence. We could be nearing the end of the Dan Quinn era and the Texans will push them one step closer.