Falcons fans might be shielding their eyes, ears vs Patriots

Nov 16, 2021, 7:53 PM | Updated: Nov 17, 2021, 1:19 pm

Graphic shows NFL team matchups and predicts the winners in Week 11 action; 3c x 4 inches...

Graphic shows NFL team matchups and predicts the winners in Week 11 action; 3c x 4 inches

Even the most die-hard Atlanta fans might avoid watching Thursday night’s matchup with New England. They all know that Fox will be hitting hard on that February 2017 night in Houston when the Falcons went brain dead and allowed the Patriots to steal a Super Bowl.

While this game won’t likely be so painful for the A-T-L — no way these Falcons build a 28-3 second-half lead — the result figures to be the same.

With rookie quarterback Mac Jones looking like the real thing despite the occasional misstep, and with a ball-hawking defense, the Patriots are on a four-game winning streak. They made two of their supposedly main competitors in the AFC, the Chargers and Browns, look pedestrian recently, finally beating some decent opponents.

As for 2017 …

“You can’t go back and win that game from 2017,” says Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, one of the few remaining Falcons from that debacle. “So you have to move on from it and try to do everything we can to get ourselves back to .500. I really don’t think it exorcises any demons or anything like that. That game is over and has been played.”

The Patriots, No. 8 in the AP Pro32, are 7-point favorites at No. 23 Atlanta, according to FanDuel SportsBook. That’s a bargain.


KNOCKOUT POOL: The Colts made us sweat before putting away the Jaguars. This time, the obvious choice — surprisingly we have not taken them yet — happens to have the AFC’s best record. TENNESSEE.

No. 32 Houston (plus 10) at No. 2 Tennessee

Logic in Week 11 says don’t lay big point spreads. But Houston is so bad …


No. 3 Dallas (plus 3) at No. 10 Kansas City

So many folks are excited by the Chiefs’ showing at Las Vegas. We remain skeptical of their defense.


No. 12 Pittsburgh (plus 6) at No. 11 Los Angeles Chargers

The Steelers could be missing key ingredients and aren’t facing Detroit this week.


No. 31 Detroit (plus 10) at No. 17 Cleveland

Again we see the Lions keeping things close without winning.

BROWNS, 24-17

No. 1 Green Bay (minus 3) at No. 19 Minnesota

We don’t have the guts to pick an upset, but expecting this to come down to the end.

PACKERS, 23-21

No. 14 New Orleans (plus 1 1/2) at No. 21 Philadelphia

We don’t have the guts to pick an upset here either. Another tight outcome.

EAGLES, 24-22

No. 4 Arizona (minus 2 1/2) at No. 24 Seattle

But here we do, especially if Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins aren’t 100%.


No. 15 (tie) Indianapolis (plus 7 1/2) at No. 5 Buffalo

The Colts are showing as much balance as the Bills did earlier in the schedule.

BILLS, 27-23

No. 25 Washington (plus 3 1/2) at No. 18 Carolina

Cam Newton vs. Ron Rivera? A very intriguing matchup. Christian McCaffrey will be the difference.


No. 22 San Francisco (minus 6 1/2) at No. 29 Jacksonville

Traveling cross country after a Monday night game isn’t a recipe for success. Niners will manage.

49ERS, 20-17

No. 27 (tie) Miami (minus 3) at No. 30 New York Jets

Traveling to the Meadowlands these days is a recipe for success.


No. 27 (tie) New York Giants (plus 11) at No. 6 Tampa Bay, Monday night

We just can’t see the Buccaneers flopping for a third straight game.

BUCS, 27-17

No. 9 Baltimore (minus 6) at No. 26 Chicago

The Ravens are such a mystifying bunch. But the Bears are who we thought they are.

RAVENS, 23-19

No. 13 Cincinnati (minus 1) at No. 15 (tie) Las Vegas

One of these teams needs an immediate turnaround.

BENGALS, 26-20



Last Week: Straight up: 8-5-1. Against spread: 6-8.

Season: Straight up: 94-55-1. Against spread: 81-65-2.

Best Bet: Straight up: 5-4-1. Against spread: 7-3.

Upset Special: Straight up: 9-0. Against spread: 9-0.


More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

7 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

7 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

7 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

7 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

7 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

7 months ago

Falcons fans might be shielding their eyes, ears vs Patriots