A couple of teams riding the momentum train meet up in the Broncos at Falcons pick for the NFL’s week 9 slate. Denver comes in off a last second 31-30 win over the Chargers at Mile High Stadium, the Broncos third win in the last four games. Atlanta meanwhile has a couple extra days of rest, after beating Carolina 25-17 last Thursday as +1.5 road underdogs.
Atlanta is a -4 point favorite on Sunday, and the extra rest definitely helps their cause. The Falcons are 0-4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season though, and lost to Detroit 23-22 their last home game. Denver is a solid 2-1 on the road, with wins coming at the Jets and Patriots. 55% of the betting public likes the Falcons here, and the line has stayed firm at -4.
Are the Broncos For Real?
It was a nice comeback for Denver last week, but did the Chargers lose as much as the Broncos won? L.A. had a 24-3 lead late in the 3rd quarter, but were outscored 28-6 over the final 20+ minutes of the game. We would be thinking about Denver a lot different coming into the Broncos at Falcons pick if the Chargers could have held on for that win.
This is a Broncos team after all that fell 43-16 to the Chiefs the week before, and K.C. barely broke a sweat with just 185 yards passing and 101 on the ground. The loss to K.C. was expected as Denver was a +7 home underdog, but the defeat also broke a 2-game win streak. Then again those wins came against the Jets, who everybody beats, and against a sloppy Patriots team that had dealt with COVID concerns for two weeks before the game.
Another thing to remember was that the Broncos fell down 3 TDs to the now 2-5 Chargers. L.A. ran for 210 yards, and rookie Justin Herbert tossed 3 TDs (but also had 2 INTs). Drew Lock was solid for Denver, but his 3 TDs against the Chargers now give him just 4 on the season. Lock has 5 INTs the last three weeks as well.
Falcons Defense Resurrected?
One would expect Lock and the Broncos offense to have some success against Atlanta’s #31 ranked pass defense – but that’s also what they expected from Carolina’s Teddy Bridgewater last week. Instead, the Falcons defense rose to the occasion, holding Bridgewater to a 15/23 day for just 176 yards. Atlanta also recorded three sacks in the win, and pressure will make the Denver QB make mistakes.
Atlanta is probably one of the best 2-6 teams in NFL history. The Falcons have blown 4th quarter leads against the Cowboys, Bears, and Lions this season, wins which would have changed the narrative coming into the Broncos at Falcons pick. Atlanta held on to their lead last week, a milestone which may be a building block for this team moving forward.
Atlanta’s record has also been damaged by being without a healthy Julio Jones for a couple games. In weeks 3-5 Jones had just 4 catches total for 32 yards. Jones has been back in rare form the last three weeks though, catching 8, 8, and 7 balls while going for 130+ yards twice in that span. It’s no coincidence that the Falcons are 2-1, with just a 1-point loss to the Lions during that time.
Free Broncos at Falcons Pick
Atlanta is starting to put something together behind interim coach Raheem Morris. Matt Ryan has looked great, and the Broncos could let this one slip away especially on the road against a well-rested Falcons squad.
Falcons 27 – Broncos 17
Free Pick: Falcons -4