Preview and Predictions: Falcons – 2018 Week 14

Ok, so let’s see what Joe Philbin has in store for us.

I was really disappointed to not see more of his fingerprints on this year’s offense… but I was basing my expectations off what his offense looked like in Miami. I later learned he wasn’t even calling plays there. And if he wasn’t calling plays, or running the defense, I don’t know what he was doing when they were racking up 24 wins in his four-year tenure.

Maybe the thing that I hate most about his tenure with the Dolphins is that after he was fired for starting 1-3 in 2015, the tight ends coach took over and guided them to a 5-7 finish. Really?

I guess I just don’t have a lot of faith in Philbin to help much.

However, I don’t think McCarthy was helping this team much, either, and they took the Rams down to the wire, had the Patriots and the ropes, and were really some missed field goals and fumbles away from being a lock to make the playoffs.

So I think this game will hinge on player emotions.

It’s going to be cold with a warm-weather team visiting, the players are fed up with drama, and NFL history shows that players can really break out after a new coach comes in midseason.

However, with Daniels, King, Perry, Wilkerson, House, and Ryan all on injured reserve (plus guys like Breeland and Brice with a questionable status), the defense is once again limping to the finish line. That’s not what you want when you face a team with Julio Jones (aka “the best receiver in the league”), plus Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu, and Austin Hooper. Matt Ryan is a little overrated, but throwing to those dudes makes him pretty darn effective.

With all the disruptions of the week, combined with the cold weather, and hosting a warm weather team that is under-achieving in its own right, there is really nothing that would surprise me about this game.

I think it’s really going to come down to what Aaron Rodgers does.

 

Question of the Week

 

Predictions

These are a lot harder in situations where there is a new coach and a lot of injuries. I didn’t do too hot last week, but I’ll take another crack at it.

MVS comes up big in a supporting role where Rodgers wants to throw more
Aaron Jones gets more work early, but doesn’t break one and gets a McCarthy number of carries
Aaron Rodgers breaks his interception streak when the ball ricochets off cold hands

Dean Lowry continues his production as the most overlooked Packer
Jaire Alexander comes up with another gif-worthy play in the cold
The Packers secondary won’t be able to shut down the Falcons bevy of receivers

Special Teams will make more colossal blunders because of course they will

 

Packers 24, Falcons 34

 

The Packers will show some fiestiness early given the emotions of the week, but they are not in a good place and the Falcons have too many weapons for the Packers depleted defense to handle, even in the cold.

 

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