The Atlanta Falcons are looking ahead to a season filled with doubts, and all they can really do in the face of all those is take this thing one week at a time. For one more week, at least, they’ll be favored doing so.
At home, potentially facing down a Bengals team minus A.J. Green, and fresh off back-to-back offensive explosions, Atlanta’s a nearly six point favorite (it’s five points) against a quality Cincinnati team. If you think that’s not giving Cincy enough credit—they did win their first two games by the identical scores of 34-23—bear in mind that they’re fresh of a disappointing loss to the Panthers and have only beaten the Colts and Ravens, and Atlanta’s been slicing defenses into julienne peppers.
The Falcons’ defense is the primary concern here, and if the Bengals are really out A.J. Green and have a limited-at-best Joe Mixon returning, their offense isn’t nearly as fearsome as the Saints’. That should enable the Falcons to hang on in a shootout, though we have yet to see what the team’s new safety tandem does in a full game.
Be cautiously optimistic about this one, as we’ll need to be throughout what promises to be a crazy 2018 season.