New England Patriots v. Atlanta Falcons: Week 7 preview and predictions

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Danny Amendola
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Danny Amendola /

The Atlanta Falcons will roll into Gillette Stadium for a Super Bowl LI rematch with the New England Patriots on a crisp Sunday night in October.

It will be around 57 degrees on Sunday night when the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons kick off their Super Bowl LI rematch. For the Patriots, you know last season is in the rearview mirror, but the Falcons are probably looking at this as a revenge game. No matter what happens though, it won’t change the fact that they blew a 28-3 lead. Okay, that’s the last reference to that score I promise.

New England is focused on maintaining and building their AFC East lead right now. At 4-2 they’re just slightly ahead of every other team in the division. The Dolphins and Bills are both 3-2, while the Jets are a surprising 3-3. The Jets and Dolphins will clash today in the early set of games. Buffalo will be at home to face Tampa Bay. Realistically, I think the Bills can win that game, and then they’ll be up at 4-2. Miami should beat New York too, pushing them to the same record. The Patriots will have to maintain their slim lead with this tough game against Atlanta.

Hopefully, we won’t see the Falcons get out to such a huge lead once again, because I’m not confident this Patriots defense could turn things around. The secondary is banged up and is still very shaky, while the pass rush just hasn’t been enough. Even worse, Tom Brady didn’t look so sharp in week 6. I’m sure he’ll bounce back like he always does though, and he’ll need to in order to keep New England in this game.

Here are my player projections and my game prediction for this rematch game.

Tom Brady: 31-45 for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns

The Patriots defense is not so good. They’re pretty bad actually. So, Tom Brady is going to have to score, a lot. He will in this one with over 400 yards and 4 total passing touchdowns. I think the running game will be there as well with Dion Lewis, James White, and Mike Gillislee, so the pass is going to open up. I’m predicting 2 of TB12’s scores to go to Danny Amendola, while Gronkowski gets one and James White adds another.

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Danny Amendola: 8 receptions for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns

I’m going to keep saying Danny Amendola will have a huge game because soon he will. It’s bound to happen with how well Brady is throwing the ball and how few receivers the Patriots have. This could be a game where Amendola breaks loose while the Falcons focus on Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks. Two scores and nearly 100 yards are coming for Danny tonight under the lights.

Alan Branch: 4 tackles including 2 for a loss

Alan Branch started the year off poorly, but he responded with a fairly solid game against the New York Jets last week. I think he could make the play of the game tonight defensively on the goal line. Down by 4 with time winding down, I think the Falcons will be near the goal line. They’ll choose to run and Alan Branch will stuff them at the line for no gain on both 2nd and 3rd down before Atlanta is forced to pass on 4th down.

Game Prediction: Patriots 38, Falcons 34

So, the Patriots will be up 4-points and the Falcons will have a 4th down from the 1-yard line. The defense will have to step up an make a play to preserve the New England win, and they will. I think the pass rush will find a way to get to Matt Ryan on this critical play and he’ll overthrow the ball out of the end zone.

Next: Rob Gronkowski is extra motivated for Sunday

This is certainly going to be a very fun football game to watch, especially if you like high scoring offenses. The Patriots defense will have to find a way to limit Julio Jones and focus on Devonta Freeman. The game will kick off at 8:30 PM on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Oh, and the Patriots will also be in their all-blue color rush uniforms for this one.