Atlanta Falcons vs. Buffalo Bills
Chase Irle: I have Atlanta getting by 3-0 at this point, but at the very least, should be 2-1 heading into their week 4 matchup with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills aren’t a very flashy team but should grind out a record of around .500 again this season behind their defense and run game. The quarterback position will continue to be a question mark, with Tyrod Taylor looking to prove his worth this season, but the reality is this Buffalo offense is not explosive enough to put a bunch of points up against an improved Falcons defense.
The only way Buffalo can win this game on the road is if they control the game with the run and have an unbelievable defensive performance. This Bills rushing attack is legit, as they led the league last season in rushing and YPC at an impressive 5.3 clip. LeSean McCoy has been one of the best backs in the league for years and is coming off perhaps the best year of his career. McCoy will have a big game, but the Falcons should and will make Taylor beat them in this one.
One thing to watch for early on in the season will obviously be Chris Chester’s replacement, whoever that may be. If that turns out to be an issue, this game gets a lot more interesting. The Bills defensive line is no joke with pass rushers like Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson on the outside and Marcell Dareus rushing up the middle.
In Buffalo, the Bills might have a shot to pull off the upset. But in Atlanta, I do not see their one dimensional offense putting up enough points to keep up with the Falcons. Matt Ryan should be able to take advantage of a secondary that lost Stephon Gilmore to the Patriots, as the Falcons cruise to a 4-0 start to the season.
The revenge tour is in full effect
Prediction: Falcons 27 Bills 19
Falcons record: 4-0
Michael Arkin: Every year there is at least a game that you’re watching the Falcons and just thinking, “what the hell?” Remember last year’s Chargers game, where not only were the Chargers one of the worst teams in football, but riddled with injuries? Somehow, San Diego found a way to win that game in overtime, even with the Falcons jumping out to 27-10 lead in the first half at home.
These kind of games happen, and as much as I would love to believe that this Falcons team, as talented as they are, could go 16-0, it isn’t happening. Tyrod Taylor is an underrated quarterback that I actually really like. He needs to have a big year to land the huge contract he deserves, and this game against the Falcons may be one he can point to at the end of the year. Atlanta has had trouble with scrambling QBs in the past, and I think Taylor and McCoy will prove to be major problems for this Falcons team that may be looking ahead to the bye week.
The Falcons lost decisively to the Eagles in their game before their bye week last season. That was the only time they lost decisively all season. The Bills have a similar team with a tough defense, and the best running game in football. They control the game on the ground, and surprise the Falcons for their first loss of the season.
Prediction: Falcons 20, Bills 26
Falcons record: 3-1