The Falcons and Buccaneers meet in the Georgia Dome this Sunday with control of the NFC South at stake.
Not your father’s Falcons Atlanta took 43 years to record back-to-back winning seasons. After a lifetime of ineptitude, the Falcons are now one of the smartest teams in the NFL. In years past this weekend’s meeting with Tampa Bay was the kind of game that could lead to a mid-season slide in Atlanta. Mike Smith has these birds singing a different tune now and it could make the Bucs’ dream start to the season come to a screeching halt.
On offense the Falcons have a slight edge statistically but a much bigger advantage in terms of diversity. With Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, Matt Ryan has two very different receiving threats to work with. Michael Turner supports this aerial assault with a powerful running game. The impact of such options is shown on the scoreboard, with the Falcons outscoring the Bucs by 4.7 points per game. Experience will also play into Atlanta’s hands. The Bucs are a fired-up young unit but one that has struggled against superior opposition. The Falcons’ veteran-laden roster should overpower the visiting Buccaneers early. Bet on the Atlanta Falcons to win as -8.0 favorites on Sports Interaction.
Sunday night meltdown NBC really got a raw deal here. Selecting Dallas at Green Bay at the start of the season seemed like a no-brainer for Sunday Night Football. Both were playoff contenders, possibly destined to meet in the NFC Championship game. Then everything went wrong for Dallas. I won’t go over the many, many, details about the Cowboys’ demise here; their fans will suffer enough on Sunday. Having Jon Kitna lead a 1-6 team into Lambeau Field against a 5-3 Packers’ team is not a good idea. Admittedly Dallas have little choice in the matter but this is the same man that was under center for the first five weeks of Detroit’s 0-16 season.
The Packers were inconsistent in the opening weeks of the year but they have found their identity now. The offense is clicking, the defense is solid and they have no internal drama to worry about. That’s more than can be said for Dallas who can’t do anything right and look ready to fire their coach at any moment. If Green Bay can get an early lead, the Cowboys will probably fall apart. Bet on the Green Bay Packers as -8.0 favorites with Sports Interaction.