Falcons vs Packers Preview & Free Pick [October 5th 2020]

Atlanta (0-3) at Green Bay (3-0)
When: Monday, October 5th, 2020
Where: Lambeau Field,
Green Bay, WI
Time: 8:50 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Green Bay -5/57.5

It has been a rough season for the Atlanta Falcons and how head coach Dan Quinn still has a job is anyone’s guess. The 0-3 Falcons will play under the Monday night lights of Lambeau Field this week when they visit the undefeated Green Bay Packers. Atlanta should be sitting at 2-1, but with back-to-back double-digit fourth-quarter leads blown the past two weeks, the Falcons are touchdown underdogs versus the Packers. Atlanta lost its season opener to the Seattle Seahawks 38-25 then had a 15-point fourth-quarter lead over Dallas the following week. The Cowboys rallied for 16 unanswered points over the final 4:57 for a 40-39 victory. Last week, the Falcons built a 16-point fourth quarter lead against Chicago before the Bears erupted for 20 straight points over the final 6:20 to record a 30-26 win. The Packers’ offense has been soaring, averaging a league-best 40.7 points a contest, while putting up 459.7 yards a game behind Aaron Rodgers. They’ve had to be that good because the defense has surrendered 28.3 points per game and allowed 30 or more points in two of their wins. The unit had 13 missed tackles in last week’s 37-30 win over the New Orleans Saints.

The total for this Monday night contest is one of the highest of the season to date at 57. The Packers have played to the over in each of their previous five games overall, while Atlanta is 6-1 O/U in its past seven. The home team has won each of the previous six meetings with the last coming on Dec. 9, 2018 – a 34-20 Green Bay win. The over has cashed in each of the last five matchups.

The defense needs to improve for Atlanta after giving up and NFL-worst 36.0 per game over the first three weeks. They are also second-worst with 463.3 total yards surrendered per contest. They are sixth in the league in scoring offense (30.0) behind veteran QB Matt Ryan and third in the NFL with 309.3 passing yards. Wide receiver Julio Jones missed the Bears game last week, while fellow wideout Russell Gage suffered a concussion. Still, Ryan has passed for 961 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. The Falcons placed cornerback Darqueze Dennard (hamstring) on injured reserve. Safety Keanu Neal (hamstring) will miss the game while Jones (hamstring) and Calvin Ridley (ankle) are questionable.

Rodgers has thrown for 883 yards with nine TDs and zero interceptions, and his offensive line has allowed just two sacks through three games. He last faced the Falcons in 2018, throwing for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Packers to a victory. In last week’s Sunday night win at New Orleans, the 36-year old passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns against zero interceptions while completing 21-of-32. Rodgers will not have Allen Lazard to throw at after he undergoes surgery to treat a muscle injury, but Davante Adams is close to returning to action. Green Bay will be without linebacker Christian Kirksey (pectoral) after being placed on injured reserve on Saturday. The Packers will enjoy their bye next week before returning to action at Tampa Bay in Week 6.

This should be a shootout because both offenses can move up and down the field at will and the defensive units are bad. Atlanta is 0-3, but have been in every game. They might be playing from behind this time, which could mean an easy back-door cover. I’ll take the points.

Pick: Falcons +7
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