Atlanta Falcons (6-7 SU, 4-9 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8 SU, 7-5-1 ATS)
NFL Week 15
Date/Time: Sunday, December 20, 1:00pm
Where: EverBank Field Jacksonville, FL
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ATL +3 / JAX -3
Over/Under Total: 49
This Sunday, the 6-7 Atlanta Falcons will fly south to take on the 5-8 Jacksonville Jaguars in a pretty meaningless NFC/AFC showdown. Although the Jaguars have the worse record between the two, they have been the more impressive team over the last few weeks. The Atlanta Falcons are on a six game skid and they are looking to be getting worse and worse each week they play. The Jaguars are coming off their most impressive win of the season this past Sunday after beating the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 51-16. Atlanta is coming off their worst performance of the season after being humiliated by the Carolina Panthers 38-0, in a game that was over from the opening kick it seemed. This game should be interesting to say the least. A month ago I would have thought the Falcons would be favored by a touchdown in this game, and that is not the case at all.
The line on this game opens with the Jaguars as a three point home favorite over the Falcons. The total points are set at 49 combined. As of Tuesday morning, 67% of the action is on the Jaguars to cover the spread. That is how far the Atlanta Falcons have fallen since their 5-0 start to the season, they are being faded by the public in a big way each week, and in most cases, that has been the right play. On the season, the Falcons may have the better overall record, but against the spread, the Jaguars have been much more successful. Jacksonville is 7-5-1 against the spread in 2015, while the Falcons are 4-9 and have not covered a spread in over a month or so. Based on the numbers, Jacksonville is the play, but lets take a closer look at this game.
The Falcons are awfulplain and simple. Since their 5-0 start, they may be the worst team in the NFL and I mean that. There is not one team in the league that I can say without reservation that the Falcons can beat. A few weeks ago I considered this game an easy win but not now. Atlanta has lost six straight and do not look to be getting any better, actually, they are looking worse and worse each week and I could seriously see them going 6-10 after starting 5-0. I have said that the problem with the Falcons is not coaching, it is not Matt Ryan, even though he has played bad, but the real issue with the Falcons is General Manager, Thomas Dimitroff. He has missed on draft pick after draft pick and has yet to find a way to fix the offensive line issues that have plagued the Falcons for almost four years now. I have a feeling that this may be his last season in that position. Anyhow, with that said, lets talk about this match up. The Falcons need to get back to playing good football. Stop turning the ball over, score in the red zone, play defense, and just overall do better. They have the talent, especially on offense but they just are not producing and havent for some time. To win this game this weekend, all of those things I mentioned above are a must.
Jacksonville appears to be improving. They have won three of their last five games but even in their losses, the offense is scoring. If Jacksonville can put together a solid defense in the offseason and come back with offensive production, then they could be quite dangerous. Blake Bortles has thrown for over 3,500 yards already in 2015 and has 30 touchdowns to go with all those yards. Allen Robinson has been his go to man this year. Robinson has 66 catches for 1,084 yards and 12 touchdowns. These two are becoming a force and I see no reason why they cannot continue their success against this Atlanta defense this week. The offense should be able to score but the question mark for this weeks game is the Jacksonville defense. Allowing over 27 points a game, the Jaguars defense is ranked 30th in the NFL and if they plan to not only win this game but contend in future seasons, this needs to be addressed. The key to this game is to bring the heat to Matt Ryan. It has become obvious that the Falcons offensive line is their weakest link and teams are taking notice. More and more each week we are seeing teams blitzing and getting to Matt Ryan. If Jacksonville follows suit, I can see them forcing a few turnovers and getting a home victory.
I do not normally go with the public on home favorites, but this Falcons team is bad. They have lost six straight and it appears that some of the players have given up. This team is lacking not just talent now, but heart. I have a feeling Jacksonville gets an easy 27-17 win this weekend over Atlanta.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I like the Jacksonville Jaguars -3 and under the posted of 49 points!
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