WEEK FIVE: vs. HOUSTON TEXANS (1PM, FOX)
After falling back to .500 following losses to very game teams, Atlanta returns home to face their second rookie quarterback in this 2023 campaign, ironically being the quarterback taken second overall in CJ Stroud and the Houston Texans. Houston's honestly a very interesting team to watch as they not only drafted Stroud second overall, but immediately traded with the Cardinals to move up and pick Will Anderson immediately after. While this almost undoubtedly removes them from the Marvin Harrison Jr. sweepstakes, getting two cornerstones back-to-back is commendable.
Looking deeper into the Texans, it's difficult to find anyone "noteworthy" that will give the Falcons defense fits. Sure, we can assume that whatever side Laremy Tunsil's on, our pass rush will struggle, but their receiving core has much to be desired. John Metchie is still an unknown at the pro level, and while they did give Stroud a nice security blanket by poaching Dalton Schultz from the in-state rival Cowboys, there's not much in that cupboard.
Defensively, the same can be said, as outside of Anderson, who's truly a dominant force out there? Maybe Derek Stingley can provide some good coverage on Drake London, and Jimmie Ward is still a competent safety in this league, but outside of that, these players don't give much note.
To quote from the "Pat McAfee Show", while later in this piece there's a spoiler, this game I recommend bettors "Hammer... DAHN" the over on this contest. Why do you ask that? Well, it's simple: the last two games have seen a combined 154 points scored (53-32 in 2019; 48-21 in 2015).
Atlanta returns back to the plus side with a dominant performance in front of the home crowd.
PREDICTION: ATLANTA 44, HOUSTON 20