Falcons 35 - Cardinals 24
The bye week came at an opportune time for the Falcons, who were missing some key starters when they looked sluggish against the Eagles. The extra week of rest should serve them well along with being back home. The Cardinals are better than their record suggests, but they do have real issues. That offensive line may get Carson Palmer killed, and his decision making has taken a step back this year. David Johnson will get his yards and touchdowns, but I think the Falcons offense bounces back with the return of a fully healthy Tevin Coleman.
Falcon 27 - Cardinals 26
While our schedule is progressively getting easier, we’re about to hit a run of games that feature strong defensive fronts paired with mediocre offenses. If you think back to some of our close games/losses (Chargers, Eagles, Packers, Bucs Round 1, Broncos) that’s what we faced and we did not handle it very well. Coming up, we have the Cardinals and Chiefs, who are also strong fronts with mediocre offenses. We also feature an improved, but weak-ish pass rush, so I’m not holding OL troubles over any team’s head against us until I see the rush with my own eyes. I think we win, but I expect it to be uncomfortably close.
Falcons 35 - Cardinals 27
If I’m terrified of David Johnson and wary of this Cardinals defense, which I am, why am I predicting a Falcons win? Simply because the Falcons are at nearly full strength on offense, coming off a bye, and just good enough on defense to snatch a Carson Palmer turnover or two and seal this one up. It’ll be closer than we like for more of the game, as per usual, but Atlanta should be 7-4 this time tomorrow.
Falcons 21 - Cardinals 17
I’m calling this a low score game. The Cardinals, for whatever reason, have had Matt Ryan’s number for years. Regardless of their coach or team, it seems like Arizona can get three interceptions against Ryan. A lot has changed, but between Carson Palmer and the cooling Falcons offense, I think it is more likely the score is a bit lower than normal. At the same time, Carson Palmer is pretty bad and Atlanta is coming off of a bye. I like our offense enough to barely outscore the Cardinals.
Falcons 31 - Cardinals 26
The Cardinals are a tough team to predict. They have so much talent, but they can’t seem to put it all together this season. They just allowed 30 points to the Vikings and almost lost to the 49ers the week before that. Atlanta should win this game, especially with Tevin Coleman and (hopefully) Desmond Trufant returning. It won’t be easy--the Arizona defense is as stout as ever--but their offense is turnover-prone and Atlanta should find their mojo again on offense
Falcons 34 - Cardinals 27
Arizona feels like a team that can come out and suddenly play like they did last year without any real explanation, and, unfortunately, Atlanta has been a team that seems to let teams to that without explanation (see Green Bay, New Orleans, Philadelphia). I think that health is a big part of the Falcons recent issues since they had one of their latest bye weeks in recent memory, but that means that they should be healthy enough to set up for a big playoff push to end the season. I think the offense starts that push on Sunday, but I’m fearful that the defense will continue to lag behind by a large margin, making this one pretty stressful.