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Sunday Night Football: New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons

The 3-0 New England Patriots invade the Georgia Dome Sunday night to take on the 1-2 Atlanta Falcons.  Here is the tale of the tape:

Atlanta Offense:

  • The Falcons are averaging 23.7 points per game, including 4.5 yards per rush play, 7.3 yards per pass attempt and 379 total yards (6.4 yards per play);
  • Overall, Atlanta is 0.7 yards per pass attempt and 0.6 yards per play better than average offensively in 2013, while also being 0.2 yards per rush play worse than average

New England Offense:

  • The Patriots are averaging 19.7 points per game on 4.0 yards per rush play, 5.1 yards per pass attempt and 4.7 yards per play;
  • New England is 0.8 yards per pass attempt and 0.3 yards per play worse than average offensively this season, while also being 0.1 yards per rush play better than average

Fundamental Analysis: Offense vs. Defense:

From a fundamental standpoint, Atlanta has the better offense and should have success moving the ball against a New England defense that is 0.3 yards per play better than average (4.9 yards per play to teams that combine to average 5.2 yards per play).  New England’s strength is its secondary that is 0.7 yards per pass attempt better than average (5.5 yards per pass play to teams that combine to average 6.2 yards per pass), which gives the Patriots a nominal advantage over Matt Ryan’s aerial attack.

The main reason for why Atlanta is 1-2 on the season is an under-achieving defense that is allowing 24.7 points per game, including 7.1 yards per pass attempt and 6.0 yards per play.  Overall, the Falcons are 0.5 yards per rush play, 0.3 yards per pass attempt and 0.4 yards per play worse than average defensively, which actually gives Tom Brady & Co. a slight advantage on the offensive side of the ball.

Technical Analysis:

  • Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan is 35-7 SU in the Georgia Dome, including 16-0 SU and 12-4 ATS following a loss;
  • Atlanta head coach Mike Smith is 22-3 SU and 20-5 ATS in his NFL career, including 8-0 ATS when not laying points;
  • New England is 78-45 ATS as underdogs, including 57-37 ATS as road underdogs

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New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons