Last week’s Thursday night game saw the Miami Dolphins pull a big upset over the heavily favored (-365) Baltimore Ravens in Miami. This week, the New England Patriots aren’t favored as heavily as Baltimore was, but they are favored over the Atlanta Falcons who welcome the Patriots to Mercedes Benz Stadium.
New England (6-4) is on a four-game winning streak. The Patriots have clobbered three of their last four foes, beating the Jets 54-13, Carolina 24-6 and Cleveland 45-17. The only team during that stretch to hang with the Patriots were the Los Angeles Chargers, who the Patriots defeated 27-24.
Atlanta (4-5) have alternated wins and losses over their past four games, beating the Dolphins and the Saints while losing to the Panthers and the Cowboys. The Falcons are coming off a 43-3 setback to the Cowboys.
Thursday Night Football – Week 11
Patriots vs. Falcons
One question surrounding this game is how good is New England quarterback Mac Jones? He has looked more comfortable as the season marches on. Against the Browns, Jones went 19-for-23 in passing for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Jones’ passer rating of 142.1 for the game was far above his previous best number of 119.
Another rookie to keep an eye on for the Patriots is Rhamondre Stevenson who rushed for 100 yards with two touchdowns and added four passing receptions in his first career start.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 14, 2021
The Falcons are going to rely on their veteran quarterback, Matt Ryan in this matchup. Ryan has a pass completion percentage of 67.7 on the season and has put up 2,274 yards in the air. He has 15 passing touchdowns and has been sacked 16 times.
Ryan did not have a good game against the Cowboys. He put up 117 yards in the air, which was a career-worst in a game where he had over 10 attempts. His nine completions were his lowest number since 2012 and his 42.9 completion percentage was his worst number since December 2011. Ryan’s passer rating of 21.4 was the lowest of his career.
Richie Grant forces the fumble 💥
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) November 14, 2021
The Falcons’ loss to Dallas is very concerning. It was the team’s biggest defeat since a 56-10 loss to Kansas City in 2004. I expect the team to look very different against the Patriots, but will that be enough for them to come out on top?
Thursday Night Football Best Bets
Bet New England to win. Current and historical trends favor New England in this matchup. New England is on a four-game winning streak and they have wins over the Falcons in their past five regular-season meetings, dating back to 2001.
Bet Falcons to cover the spread. Matt Ryan did not play well last week. I expect Ryan’s performance will gnaw at him and while we might not see prime Matt Ryan on Thursday, I expect to see Ryan in front of a Falcons team that wants to erase the memory of the Dallas loss in their minds. The Falcons might not beat the Patriots, but they will play them tough.
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