New England Patriots @Atlanta Falcons
Odds: New England -7, over/under 47
Weather: Dome conditions
The red hot New England Patriots are heading to the dirty south to take on the Atlanta Falcons. Now 6-4, New England has won four straight and chasing the Buffalo Bills for the AFC East lead. On Sunday, they defeated the Cleveland Browns 45-7 as rookie quarterback Mac Jones threw for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Jones is averaging 239.2 yards passing per game with 13 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
Jones’ favorite target by far has been wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. He has hauled in 50 of 76 targets for 483 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season last week. Kendrick Bourne leads the team in receiving with 33 receptions for 520 yards and three touchdowns. Nelson Agholor has 24 receptions for 356 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Hunter Henry has been Jones’ most reliable redzone target scoring seven touchdowns. Henry has 31 receptions for 353 yards.
The rushing attack has been led by second year running back Damien Harris, who has rushed for 547 yards on 133 carries with five touchdowns. He missed Sunday with a concussion, but rookie Rhamondre Stevenson filled in admirably with 100 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. After third down back James White was lost for the season, Brandon Bolden has stepped up with 25 receptions for 227 yards, with another 140 rushing.
Atlanta is 4-5 and coming off an embarrassing 43-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Longtime quarterback Matt Ryan is averaging 256.8 yards passing per game with 15 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley has missed four games due to injuries and personal issues, so rookie tight end Kyle Pitts has been the focal point of the passing attack. He has 40 receptions for 606 yards and one touchdown. Outside of Pitts and Cordarelle Patterson, no other player has more than 200 yards receiving.
Cordarelle Patterson has been a jack of all trades, rushing for 303 yards and two touchdowns, while adding another 473 yards yards through the air with five touchdowns. Patterson is questionable this week with an ankle injury. Mike Davis has rushed for 289 yards on 88 carries with one touchdown.
New England: None
Atlanta: LB Daren Bates (groin), TE Hayden Hurst (ankle), DB Kendall Sheffield (hamstring)
New England: P Jake Bailey (knee), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (ribs), RB Brandon Bolden (hip), OL Trent Brown (calf), DB Kyle Dugger (ankle), K Nick Folk (knee), WR N’Keal Harry (knee), LB Dont’a Hightower (ankle), OL Shaq Mason (abdomen), DB Jalen Mills (forearm), TE Jonnu Smith (shoulder), LB Kyle Van Noy (groin), DL Deatrich Wise Jr. (illness)
Atlanta: DB Jaylinn Hawkins (ankle), RB Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle)