Kent Tukeli | Sat 16/09/2017 - 13:48 EDT

NFL Sunday Night Football Week 2

NFL Sunday Night Football Week 2

NFL Sunday Night Football

There’s a good chance that the 2017 NFC Championships will boil down to these two superb football teams once again. The Falcons have a more difficult path to the playoffs because the Carolina Panthers will bounce back this year, providing more of a challenge to the NFC North champs. The Packers retooled their defense so Aaron Rodgers won’t have to carry the team all season. Green Bay had difficulty defending against squads like the Falcons in 2016. Five of six cheesehead losses took place when the opposition scored 30 points or more. The defense held enemies to less than thirty points when the Packers won.

My Team's Next MatchGreen Bay Packers

Atlanta defeated the Green Bay Packers twice last year, with both victories earned at home. The Falcons won a one-point game during the regular season and blew out Green Bay during the NFC Championships. For the third consecutive meeting, the Packers will visit Atlanta, giving the Falcons a slight edge. Expect this match to remain tight, with the Falcons beating a field goal spread by a point or two. Atlanta will grow more comfortable with their new offensive scheme, which contains enough speed to offset an improved Packers defense.

These teams should combine to score more than 56.5 points on Sunday.

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Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons Preview

Neither Atlanta nor Green Bay appeared impressive during week one, but they got the job done nonetheless. The Falcons barely escaped Soldier Field with a win against Chicago, and the Green Bay Packers toughed out a victory against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Green Bay’s defense stepped up while Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper stiff-armed his team to victory.

Matt Ryan had a solid outing, and Rodgers was competent, but these pivots didn’t dominate the narrative as they usually do. He was up against one of the best secondaries in the NFL, while the Atlanta offense was still adjusting to new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. The Falcons will show better cohesion week two, enabling more out of Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, who were unusually quiet against the Bears.

Green Bay’s already showing cracks in their offensive line due to injuries, which will affect the rush more than the passing game. Aaron Rodgers won’t have to deal with Seattle’s terrific defense, so his numbers should rebound. He’s also uncanny when passing in scramble situations, reducing the amount of protection he needs compared to most QBs. RB Ty Montgomery will be affected the most by an injured o-line, because his production leans heavily on holes to rush through.

Much has been made of the defensive transformation Green Bay underwent during the offseason. However, the Falcons offense remains as deadly as last year. Jones and Freeman get most of the headlines, but the rest of the receiving and rushing corps cause trouble, especially when opponents commit to double-teaming Julio Jones. Austin Hooper, Taylor Gabriel, Mohamed San and Justin Hardy are speedy targets for Matt Ryan.

The Falcons didn’t care about defense last year, but they also improved a bit over the offseason. Similar to the Packers, it won’t be enough to stop good QBs. An over/under of 56.5 reflects the powerful offense of both squads, and their deficiencies on defense, making the over bet more likely to transpire. Atlanta will enjoy home advantage, especially in their new stadium, making them favorites for this match. Bet on the Falcons beating a point spread of three.

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NFL Sunday Night Football Schedule

Date Matchups Picks
Sep. 10 Giants at  Cowboys Giants +170, +4.5 (-115), Under 45.5
Sep. 17 Packers at Falcons Falcons -140, -3 (-105), Over 56.5
Sep. 24 Raiders at  Redskins - -
Oct. 1 Colts at Seahawks - -
Oct. 8 Chiefs at Texans - -
Oct. 15 Giants at Broncos - -
Oct. 22 Falcons at  Patriots - -
Oct. 29 Steelers at Lions - -
Nov. 5 Raiders at Dolphins - -
Nov. 12 Patriots at Broncos - -
Nov. 19 Eagles at Cowboys - -
Nov. 23 Giants at Redskins - -
Nov. 26 Packers at Steelers - -
Dec. 3 Eagles at Seahawks - -
Dec. 10 Ravens at Steelers - -
Dec. 17 Cowboys at Raiders - -
Dec. 23 Vikings at Packers - -

Category : NFL

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