Cincinnati Bengals vs. Atlanta Falcons Free Pick, Odds, Prediction 9/14/14
Atlanta Falcons (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Paul Brown Stadium)
The Line: Cincinnati Bengals -5 -- Over/Under: 48 See the Latest Odds
TV: CBS HD
The Atlanta Falcons head to Cincinnati on Sunday to face off against the Bengals.
The Cincinnati Bengals earned a solid win in week one, defeating the Baltimore Ravens 23-16. Things got off to a slow start in this one, as there were five field goals in the first half, all by Cincy, as neither offense could find a solid rhythm. Things definitely picked up in the second half however as the Ravens struck first, and then after a Ravens field goal, Steve Smith scored on an 80 yard touchdown pass from Flacco. Baltimore then missed the two point conversion, keeping the Bengals ahead, and A.J. Green did what he does, scoring on a 77 yard pass from Dalton to seal the deal. One thing I loved from the Bengals was the play of their offensive line. Dalton was comfortable all day long, and if Cincy was able to convert some of those first half field goals into touchdowns, this one never would have been close.
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The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints on Sunday 37-34 in overtime. Matt Ryan is good. The Saints looked to have things firmly in control early on, as New Orleans took an early 13-0 lead over the Falcons, and for many watching, flashes of last season had to be popping into their heads. Atlanta did a nice job turning things around however, as the Falcons came out strong in the second half, putting up two TD’s in the third quarter to take the lead over the Saints. The two teams traded blows a bit, but Matt Bryant connected on a field goal as time ticked away in regulation to put the game into overtime, and Bryant came up big again with a field goal to win it. Matt Ryan just went off in this game, grading out as the best quarterback to play this season…yeah I know week one isn’t even technically over yet. Ryan threw for 448 yards and three scores against the Saints defense, a defense that at times actually had some solid coverage on the day. I am concerned with the line play by the Flacons however. The offensive line had trouble opening up holes for the backs, and the defensive line struggled at time spitting pressure on Brees. Something that need to be fixed. Unless Ryan throws for 450 per game this season, in which case the Falcons will be ok.
Nothing super interesting about the Falcons here, but on the other side of the ball, it should be noted that the Bengals are 11-5 against the spread in their last 16 games at home, and the Bengals are 5-1 against the spread i their last six non conference games. People are pounding the Falcons at the window right now, as at the time of writing, roughly 96 percent of tickets have been placed on the Falcons.
I came away impressed by Ryan and the Flacons offense against the Saints in week one, but that was at home, in a dome. Playing in Cincinnati isn’t the same, and remember this is a Bengals team that wen ton the road and beat a solid Baltimore team. The Bengals have the advantage at the line of scrimmage here on both sides of the ball, and while Ryan gets the nod over Dalton, Dalton has proven that he can win in this league and with the weapons around him, the Bengals will put up points against this weak Falcons defense. I don’t love this game at the current number, and if you could tease it down to -2.5 (or hopefully it falls) that’d probably be ideal, but anything under a touchdown looks like a play on the Bengals here for me.
Confidence rating: 3 out of 5