Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction ATS
Atlanta Falcons (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8 SU, 4-6 ATS)
Week 12 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 1PM EST
Where: TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
Point Spread: ATL -1/JAC +1 (Intertops)
Over/Under Total: 46.5
The Atlanta Falcons take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at TIAA Bank Stadium. For Atlanta, some good progress has hit a brick wall with consecutive losses, including a 25-0 loss to the Patriots on Thursday Night Football. They look to get back on the right track this week against a Jacksonville team coming off a rough 30-10 loss to the 49ers at home on Sunday. In their last four games, they have scored a combined 43 points. Again at home this week, can they get it together for the Falcons?
Has Atlanta Hit a Wall?
Their last two games haven’t been easy, taking on the Cowboys on the road, before running into a red-hot Patriots team on Thursday. Still, to lose those games by a combined score of 68-3 shows the Falcons in season-worst form. The problems are almost too numerous to name. Trying to get running production out of Mike Davis is like trying to juice a rock. Matt Ryan can’t move much nowadays, mincemeat for opposing pass-rushers. His facial expressions say it all, with unending frustration at the lack of support around him. At 36, it’s just hard on him to be stuck in this situation on a spiraling team with very little around him.
Still, there have been times when we’ve seen the Falcons succeed this season and this context would appear to be more up their alley. They’ve beaten the Jets, Giants, Dolphins, and their best win being over the Saints. So while they’re dogmeat to teams like Dallas, New England, and Tampa, this might be a scenario where they can get back to the team we were seeing several weeks ago. Ryan was working decently with Kyle Pitts, with contributions from guys like Olamide Zaccheus, Russell Gage, and Cordarrelle Patterson (questionable) With three points in the last two weeks, however, it’s becoming more and more of a memory trying to picture the last time this offense delivered.
At root, they have a substandard line protecting an aging and immobile quarterback with no running game to speak of. Their best aerial weapon is out of action. So it’s basically Matt Ryan and a rookie tight end, along with whoever else can chip in. The early season big showings from Patterson have gone away and with waning offensive support, we see a waning defense starting to get battered. They do have a secondary that has played at a level that could give Trevor Lawrence some problems. But the disruptive plays from this bunch have been reduced in recent weeks. Again, being more in their wheelhouse this week opponent-wise, could we see better results?
Possible Edges for the Falcons
Jacksonville is a bit of a foreign locale for the Falcons, even if geographically it’s not much of a road-trip. Some could defer to the Jags’ home-advantage, but Atlanta has been sneaky-good on the road this season. That didn’t show in their colossal loss to the Cowboys a few weeks back, but prior to that, they won their last three road games. And Jacksonville is a bad team, a realm that Atlanta has been able to succeed in recently—road spots against teams with a lot of the same issues the Falcons face.
It’s not easy to defend this Atlanta defense, almost at the rock-bottom of the league in giving up points. They’ve given up 34 to Washington, 28 to Miami, and 32 to Philly, showing it’s not only dominant offensive units having success against this group. Still, there have been enough spots this season where they were fairly resolute against certain teams. And we’ve seen enough from the Jaguars in recent weeks to warrant them maybe being one of those teams.
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Trouble for Jacksonville
Going into week 12, one would maybe have expected to see some more positive bright spots from Trevor Lawrence and this Jaguars’ offense. Maybe getting RB James Robinson a game under his belt after being hurt will pay off moving forward. Along with weapons like Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault, Dan Arnold, and others, there is some talent. But with injuries and without any real standouts aerially and a good but not elite back in Robinson, Lawrence is in a really tough spot behind this offensive line. After facing a tough SF defense last week, could we see a better effort against an exploitable Atlanta “D” this week?
But maybe with the bad publicity of Urban Meyer, the string of losses, and the lack of big showings from Lawrence have served to paint an overly-harsh image of the Jaguars. They are bad—there is no sugar-coating that. But there are levels of bad. They’re not in that absolute bottom rung. They’re just bad. Defensively, they haven’t been that horrible, especially with the lack of support on the other side of the ball. If Robinson gets back into the swing of things, this is a spot where they could maybe see a little bump in production.
Take the Slight Home Underdog
The importance of context in this matchup is a major consideration. We’ve seen things from both teams in more-difficult spots that shouldn’t impugn their chances in this reduced realm. Going into the latter part of the season, I see the Jags as keeping it together slightly-better. Personnel-wise, they are more intact. There aren’t aspects of their team profile just melting away. They’ve at least been harder to embarrass for opponents as of late. I see that overall functionality resonating this week in a tight one in Jacksonville. I’ll take the Jaguars.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars plus one point.