NFL Week 2 Preview and Betting Odds – Falcons vs. Bengals

The Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals each won their opening week games.  However, they both needed late-game rallies to do so.  This week, they will face off in Cincinnati (Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern on CBS) in an AFC-NFC match-up.

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The Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals each won their opening week games.  However, they both needed late-game rallies to do so.  This week, they will face off in Cincinnati (Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern on CBS) in an AFC-NFC match-up.

After an abysmal 2013 season, Atlanta rebounded in Week 1 to beat the formidable New Orleans Saints.  Quarterback Matt Ryan had a virtuoso performance and was helped by four running backs who all made solid contributions (Steven Jackson, Antone Smith, Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman).

“There were two things that I was really excited about tonight,” Ryan said after the game on Sunday. “One was Devonta Freeman. He played extremely well, watching from the sideline. Then, there was Antone Smith.”

Of course, Ryan also had plenty of help on the outside, finally getting back to work with a healthy receiver group that includes stars Julio Jones and Roddy White.

Winning in Cincinnati will prove a more difficult proposition though.  The Bengals were also happy with their quarterback’s Week 1 performance.  Andy Dalton threw for over 300 yards and didn’t turn the ball over once.

“It’s important that we did a good job of not having any turnovers on the day and we took the ball away from them,” explained Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis after the Bengals’ win over Baltimore.

“We did exactly what we set out to do there today,” Dalton added. “There are a lot of tough places to play in this league and this is certainly one of the toughest. It was the only place I had not won since joining the Bengals.”

Cincinnati’s defense has a tough task of slowing down Atlanta’s multifaceted, high-octane attack.  But the Bengals are well-equipped to do so, especially if their front four can get to Matt Ryan.

Both Ryan and Dalton want to get the ball to their receivers, Jones and White for Ryan and A.J. Green for Dalton.  Thus, the team that has enough pass protection will win this game.  Defensive backs on both sides will have their hands full on Sunday.

The Bengals are currently a 5-point favorite, with the over/under at 49.