Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Location: Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay
Prediction: Falcons, 31-21
The Falcons meet the division rival Bucs for the second time this season in Week 13. By now Winston has had some time to get his feet wet in the NFL and has developed chemistry with his receiving core. However, the Bucs still lack the talent on both sides of the ball to compete with the Falcons. This game might be a little tighter than the first one because it is away from home, but the Falcons should cruise pass the Buccaneers in week 13, 31-21.
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
Prediction: Panthers, 31-20
While the Falcons have sort of been proclaimed the favorites to end up atop the NFC South standings, it has been the Panthers that have won the division the past two seasons. The Panthers defeated the Falcons in a Week 17 winner-take-all game at the Georgia Dome last season. The Panthers dominated both sides of the ball early and often on their way to a dominating 34-3 victory.
This is the first meeting between the two teams and it comes in Week 14. It is safe to say these two match ups in the last four weeks of the regular season will have huge postseason implications for the two sides. Cam Newton has had some big games against the Falcons in his career and might be in for another one in this game. Unfortunately for Cam, Panthers star wideout, Kelvin Benjamin, tore his ACL in practice this offseason. The news has to be heartbreaking for Panthers fans, as he was the cog in what was already a weak receiving core.
Despite injuries and the fact the Falcons may have more talent on paper, it will be the Panthers who find a way to win the Week 14 match up. Winning division games on the road is hard, and the Panthers defense will give Matt Ryan and company fits all afternoon. Expect a frustrating game in which the Falcons keep trying to claw back from an early deficit, but Cam Newton will answer the bell every time. Panthers, 31-20.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Atlanta Falcons
Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville
Prediction: Falcons, 24-17
Jacksonville is coming off four straight seasons of failing to reach at least 6 wins. The Jaguars went 3-13 last year, but have high hopes that new starting quarterback Blake Bortles can help turn the organization around. The first year of Bortle’s career was a wild ride. He threw 12 interceptions in his first 6 NFL starts, but aside from the turnovers had some pretty good numbers. In his next 7 starts, Bortles only threw 5 interceptions, but did not throw the ball overall nearly as well. The Jaguars are hoping Bortles can put it together in year two, and become a solid NFL starting quarterback with a bright future.
The Jaguars defense is still a mess, and the team is not even close to start seriously competing, but these guys seem to sneak up and surprise some good teams every year. The Falcons need to go into EverBank Field focused and prepared, or the Jaguars could steal a victory on their home turf. The game will be closer than many people think, but the Falcons will edge out the Jags, 24-17.
Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Prediction: Falcons, 27-20
This is the second time in a three week span the Falcons face off with the Panthers. In the first matchup, the Panthers held on their home turf, but this time it is the Falcons turn to “defend the dome”. This Week 16 game will most likely have major playoff implications. The Falcons must have a lingering taste from their Week 17 defeat at home last season that knocked them out of playoff contention. Expect the Falcons to come out fired up and take care of business on their home turf. Falcons win, 27-20.
Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Prediction: Falcons, 34-30
The Saints have been slept on coming into this season. After their disappointing 2014 campaign, the team looks to bounce back and make it back to the playoffs. This Week 17 matchup with the Falcons could be for the NFC South division title. The Saints will likely be hovering around 9 or 10 wins at this point themselves. In this first game between these two teams, the Saints won in the SuperDome. The SuperDome has been an extremely hard place to win over the last 10 years, as the Saints thrive off the energy in that raucous building. However, the Falcons thrive off that same energy in the Georgia Dome and have been able to beat the Saints in of the last 3 meetings in their home building. The game will be close as always, but the Falcons will get some key stops in the red zone to defeat the Saints, 34-30.