Two days until Week 2 kicks off for the Atlanta Falcons, and like you (and these Falcons), we’re ready to see them play the Raiders and put that ugly first game behind us. Hopefully Atlanta will win.
I’m not going to sugarcoat things: This is a tough matchup, as are most of the matchups on the team’s schedule between here and January 2017. Oakland has a bit of a makeshift offensive line and looked shaky defensively against New Orleans, but they can score, and the pass rush could be legitimately dangerous. Couple that with the fact that the Falcons are on the road and I can’t blame anyone for thinking that perhaps Atlanta won’t win. I’m bullish on their chances, but then, I was last week.
What is true is that Atlanta needs a win here to quiet the critics, set themselves up to weather a tough upcoming stretch without being in a deep, deep hole, and to build some positive momentum (however real that momentum actually is) for the likes of Denver and Seattle. If the ground game gets going, Matt Ryan stays crisp, and the defense doesn’t suffer the same kind of epic third quarter meltdown, it can be done.
Here’s what you need to know for Sunday’s game.
Game time: Sunday, September 18, 4:25 p.m. EST
Location: o.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
TV Channel: CBS
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Wes Durham and Dave Archer)
Online Stream: NFL Gamepass offers a live audio stream of the Wes Durham and Dave Archer call, and is your best option for watching the games afterwards. DirecTV also has NFL Sunday Ticket, which is worth checking out.
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Injury Report: Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu should play. We’re less sure about Brooks Reed, Terron Ward, Devonta Freeman, and of course Keanu Neal.
Prediction: Falcons win 31-28
Opposition: Silver and Black Pride