The Atlanta Falcons haven’t played up to their considerable potential just yet, though we all hope they will. The same is true of the New England Patriots, which makes this an excellent opportunity for one of these two teams to get on track. The loser, however, will be sitting at .500 and facing even more doubt, which is not an ideal place to be.
Let me be honest: I think Atlanta can win this football game. That doesn’t mean they will, but we’ve seen some of the worst football they can reasonably offer with a roster this talented, and this is the worst defense they’ve faced all year. If Julio Jones, Tevin Coleman, Taylor Gabriel and this offense can’t get on track against a team that has surrendered countless big plays, it’s going to be fair to wonder if they can. The defense, meanwhile, gets its biggest test of the season, and we’ll get to see if they really are a good unit beyond all the dumb mistakes we’ve seen from them thus far in 2017.
Color me hopeful and a little optimistic, then, but I’ll try to keep my expectations reasonable. Here’s what you’ll need to know for the game, which will involve all of us staying up late on Sunday night.
Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots Week 7 key info
Time: Sunday, October 22nd, 8:30 p.m. EST
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
TV Channel: NBC
Announcers: Booth: Al Michaels & Cris Collinsworth
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Odds: The Patriots are favored by three points or so
Prediction: Falcons win, 35-34
Key Questions: Can the Falcons stop this tough Patriots offense, particularly running backs James White and Dion Lewis, plus Rob Gronkowski? Can the offense finally get going in earnest against a weak, big play-prone Patriots defense? Can we please get some small measure of revenge for the Super Bowl, por favor?
SB Nation Opposition Site: Pats Pulpit