Falcons vs Commanders matchup preview and current betting lines
The Atlanta Falcons have fared much better than most people expected this season. Despite poor play from Marcus Mariota and a somewhat questionable defense, Georgia’s team still controls its own fate and could even end up winning its division.
Needless to say, that means being nearly perfect for the remainder of the campaign, as Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have finally straightened the ship and look like a legit contender right now, so they cannot afford any more setbacks.
That’s why facing the surging Washington Commanders will be such a complicated task for them. Chase Young is expected to be back for Ron Rivera’s team, and their offense is finally coming through after Carson Wentz went down with an injury.
Clearly, this is Taylor Heinicke’s team, at least until Sam Howell is ready to step up. The Commanders could also clinch a playoff berth despite a subpar start to the season, so this will be a postseason-kind of matchup for both teams.
Players to watch:
Cordarelle Patterson: Cordarelle Patterson has become the jack of all trades for the Falcons. He’s now set an NFL record for the most kickoff return TDs in league history, and he’s expected to be more involved in the offense going forward.
Taylor Heinicke: Taylor Heinicke is far from a perfect quarterback, but he won’t let his mistakes tear him down. He’ll bounce back and continue to throw the ball over and over, and he’s become this team’s catalyst and leader.
Week 12 Predictions: NFL Bet of the week on Falcons vs Commanders
The opening Falcons vs Commanders spread has the Commanders favored by four points. That makes sense considering their recent surge, as they’ve now won five of their past six games, with their only loss being a 17-20 setback vs. the red-hot Minnesota Vikings.
The Commanders are above .500 for the first time this season, and their offense looks in sync for the first time in the campaign. They even spoiled the Philadelphia Eagles’ perfect record a couple of weeks ago, thanks to their timely scoring.
The Atlanta Falcons have been a bit of a fluke. They’re sitting on a 5-6 record and can’t seem to string too good games together, although they’ve been quite good against the spread. Even so, they’re coming off barely beating the Chicago Bears, and that effort could cost them this week.
The Falcons have yet to reach their Bye week, so they’re pretty banged up and tired at this point in the season. So, facing a stout defense looking to stop the run and forcing Mariota to make damage with his arm isn’t a winning formula for them.
The opening Falcons vs Commanders odds have this game total sitting at 42 points. This makes sense, as the Commanders’ defense is slowly improving, and having one of the best young defenders in the league, Chase Young, coming back will also be a factor.
The Commanders are good at stopping the run, which is the Falcons’ biggest strength. Nonetheless, they’ve allowed multiple big plays throughout the season, and the Falcons are a perennial threat to break tackles and put up big yards.
Also, the Falcons have usually gotten off to quick starts this season. Then, they leave the door wide open for their rivals to come back and beat them late in the game. That trend has usually favored games to go towards the over.
Washington’s offense has found its balance, with Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson out of the backfield and Terry McLaurin leading the way in the passing game. All things considered, this is a low total for a Falcons team that can’t get a stop when it matters the most.