Atlanta Falcons vs. Bills: Week 4 staff predictions
Writer: Erik Sandelin
Game: Buffalo Bills (2-1) at Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
Breakdown: If it wasn’t for what the Bills did to the Broncos last week, defeating a previously undefeated Denver squad 26 – 16, I’d be concerned that this was a trap game for the Falcons. Instead, I think Dan Quinn & Co. see this as an opponent they need to take seriously and will prepare and “rise up” to accordingly.
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These teams appear to be inverse opposites of each other. Atlanta’s offense has steadily heated up as the season has gone on, but Buffalo’s defense has only allowed two touchdowns so far this year. A classic unstoppable force vs immovable object scenario. Meanwhile, the Falcon defense is still finding it’s way, and the 26 points Buffalo scored last Sunday was their best effort thus far.
Tyrod Taylor, Charles Clay, and Jordan Matthews can have their moments, but the key to stopping the Bills’ offense is to take away the running game. Easier said then done when they can trot out “Shady” McCoy and Mike Tolbert behind old friend Patrick DiMarco. Buffalo ranks 12th running the ball, but Atlanta is actually ninth against the run in terms of yards per game allowed (though they yield 4.8 yards per carry).
The Bills are sixth, ninth, and seventh in total yards, passing yards, and rushing yards allowed, respectively, but also have played against the Jets, Carolina, and Denver – teams that aren’t exactly offensive powerhouses. I fully expect the vast array of weapons Steve Sarkisian has at his disposal will eventually wear down Buffalo’s “D,” especially in front of a homefield crowd. A confirmed healthy Julio Jones and the likely return of Ryan Schraeder will help.
Prediction: Atlanta 27, Buffalo 17