The Falcons have been their usual roller coaster-y selves this year, starting the year 0-5, going 3-1 into the bye to build a little hope and anticipation, and then crashing in spectacular fashion thanks to an ugly post-bye loss to the Saints. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess, though optimism will probably be hard to come by from now until January 2021.
Next up is a return home to play the Raiders. Las Vegas is 6-4 for the second consecutive year and looks like a pretty good football team right now, albeit one with Falconsesque weaknesses in the secondary and as a pass rush. Their offense is well-balanced and Derek Carr is on fire, and a stout run defense helps keep them in games even as their secondary is getting blown up. The Falcons can win this game if everything is clicking, but the Raiders will be a tough out.
Here’s info for the game ahead.
When: Sunday, November 29, 1 p.m EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Amanda Balionis
Streaming: CBS Sports/AtlantaFalcons.com
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Key Questions: Will the Falcons be able to slow down Derek Carr, who has been on fire of late? Is Atlanta’s offense capable of getting back on track after an especially brutal loss to the Saints, especially because Julio Jones playing this Sunday is no sure thing? Did we already watch the Falcons win the only three games they’re going to manage to win this year?
Prediction: The Falcons could not have done more to shake my faith in their ability to win games against a tough series of opponents between now and then end of the year more than they did by losing in such a brutal way to the Saints. The Raiders are unquestionably an easier matchup, but they’re still a good football team capable of hanging with the Falcons even if they are rolling on offense, which last week reminded us anew is not a guarantee.
That said, there’s no other road to my 7-9 prediction than beating a team like the Raiders, and the Falcons are at least somewhat capable of winning an old-fashioned shootout. Put me down (idiotically) for a win, 28-27.
SB Nation Opposition Site: Silver and Black Pride
2020 Falcons Schedule (3-7)
Week 1: Loss vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 2: Loss at Dallas Cowboys
Week 3: Loss vs. Chicago Bears
Week 4: Loss at Green Bay Packers
Week 5: Loss vs. Carolina Panthers
Week 6: Win at Minnesota Vikings
Week 7: Loss vs. Detroit Lions
Week 8: Win at Carolina Panthers
Week 9: Win vs. Denver Broncos
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: Loss at New Orleans Saints
Week 12: vs. Las Vegas Raiders — Sunday, November 29, 1:00 p.m.
Week 13: at New Orleans Saints — Sunday, December 6, 1:00 p.m.
Week 14: at Los Angeles Chargers — Sunday, December 13, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sunday, December 20, 1:00 p.m.
Week 16: at Kansas City Chiefs — Sunday, December 27, 1:00 p.m.
Week 17: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sunday, January 3, 1:00 p.m.