Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said, ahead of their sportsbook rematch with the New England Patriots, that “you don’t get to go replay the Super Bowl.” Funny he should say that considering that the Falcons have been following their Super Bowl blueprint – build up a sizable halftime lead and then blow it in the second half – in the past few weeks. Atlanta’s offense seems, all things considered, to have regressed this year, though it’s still, of course, not as bad as the Patriots’ defense.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 19, 2017
- Date: Sunday, 22nd October
- Time: 8:35 PM
- Venue: Gillette Stadium
- Sportsbook Online Odds:
Falcons +3 (+103) 56 (-110) +160
Patriots -3 (-122) 56 (-110) -185
The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be
We kept saying, preseason, that Kyle Shanahan would be, as long as Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, et al remained on the roster, hardly missed. We all thought Steve Sarkissian’s job would be little more than a sinecure. We were dead wrong. The long and short of it is that the Falcons offense is a ghost of its 2016 self. Having said that, last season’s offense was more often than not an extinction level event, so even its ghost can still scare the bejeezus out of most defenses. Most, but not all. The Falcons scored just 17 points against the Bills and another 17 versus the Dolphins; no wonder Atlanta not only lost both games but also failed to cover in each of them. The Falcons are, however, 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games on the road and 8-1 against the sportsbook spread in their last nine games at night. The Pats, meanwhile, have covered just twice this season (and neither was at home) and their league-worst passing-TDs-allowed defense could be the softball the Falcons need to finally hit it out of the ballpark.
The first rule of Super Bowl Li is you do not talk about Super Bowl LI
The Patriots have, according to tight end Rob Gronkowski, via Boston.com, “given really highly strict rules that we are not allowed to talk about [Super Bowl LI], so you’re not really going to get any information from anyone about that.” We’ll have to ask one of the 111.3 million people who watched it. One of whom was actually the Gronk, who watched it from the sidelines but will be, barring any unforeseen event, an active participant this time. He just tied Randy Moss Patriots’ franchise record with 15 career game with multiple receiving touchdowns (two against the Jets in Sunday’s 24-17 win). The total, in spite of the Gronk’s efforts, went in that game, as well the previous one against the Bucs, under. Ditto for the Falcon’s last two games. And yet, the 56-point total is the highest of this week. It may not be replay of Super Bowl LI, of which we’re not even allowed to talk, but the fact remains that Atlanta and New England went, on February 5th, over the 57½ sportsbook total, and by gawd they can do it again if they damn well please.