A couple of weeks ago, it was possible to squint at the rest of this Falcons schedule and pencil in as many as five wins against the likes of the Jaguars, Lions, 49ers, Panthers and Saints. With Carolina finding their footing, the 49ers surging and the Falcons coming off a putrid two game stretch, that number is much smaller today.
The Jaguars are still one of the teams we firmly believe Atlanta should be able to beat, and that’s reflected in our predictions today. Once you’ve read ours, be sure to share yours!
Falcons 28 - Jaguars 20
Let’s be clear: if the Falcons lose this game somehow, you can throw a white towel in for the season. This Jacksonville team is missing several key guys on offense and Trevor Lawrence is struggling as a result. James Robinson is good, but he’s banged up and the Jaguars defense has only 18 sacks on the season, which is in the bottom 5 of the league. Atlanta needs Patterson back if for no other reason than to take attention away from Kyle Pitts. If he plays, this one should be there for the taking. If he misses another game, Atlanta may struggle but this is still a game they should (and can) win. - David Walker
Falcons 23 - Jaguars 13
Do I feel confident about the Falcons? No. Do I feel confident about the Jaguars? Absolutely not. The Jaguars appear one step away from a full meltdown with Urban Meyer retiring to spend more time with one of his families. There are some major problems with that team far beyond a few injuries. If the Falcons can win a game... this is one one of them. Patterson returns, which is huuuuuge. I’d still expect a decent showing from Jacksonville starting running back James Robinson and a solid showing from pass rusher Josh Allen. The problem is Jacksonville has such limited talent beyond those players that it compares to Atlanta’s rock-bottom roster. However, Atlanta has coaching and that should provide an edge. - Matt Chambers
Falcons 23 - Jaguars 17
This is where I reveal I’m a hopeless sucker and think the Falcons defense has, if not exactly turned the corner, at least stuck a toe around it. The passing game gets going a bit against a good but not tremendous Jaguars pass rush and secondary missing Shaquill Griffin, Atlanta stalls a couple of drives that seem destined for points, and Cordarrelle Patteron’s return to the lineup and the resulting magic he works for this offense are enough to push the Falcons to an unimpressive but necessary victory. - Dave Choate