By Maximillian C. Burgos
The Buffalo Bills pulled an upset last week against the Denver Broncos seemingly out of nowhere. The Atlanta Falcons continued their undefeated streak last week after beating the Detroit Lions in a close game that certainly could have, and some may argue should have, gone the other way. These two teams clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.
A week after the Broncos absolutely crushed the Dallas Cowboys 42-17, the Bills were set to host the Broncos. Many Bills fans were horrified of the possible headlines that would come out of the game since Bills start offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and star defensive lineman Marcell Dareus both would not play in the game.
There were concerns about the passing game, which did not look good previously and the rushing attack, as well, since Glenn would not play. Yet to everyone’s amazement, the Bills pulled out a win against one of the most dominant defenses in the League.
Tyrod Taylor, the Bills quarterback, had a very solid day with 213 yards, two touchdowns through the air, 13 yards on the ground and a passer rating of 126. Taylor posted the highest passer rating against the Broncos since the beginning of 2015. The only other quarterback to post a triple-digit passer rating against this defense in that span of time was Drew Brees, who posted a 111.7.
It is; however, important to note that the Bills struggled to run against the Broncos only totaling 75 yards between three ball carriers and only managed a net gain of 197 yards through the air. These numbers are not going to be nearly enough to compete with the Falcons. The Bills passing attack is still the fourth-worst in the NFL and after Sunday, their rushing attack dropped out of the Top Ten.
They are the No. 1 team in points against, though, which is a marvel to the defense and how it has played through the first three games of the season. The Bills even managed to sack Broncos quarterback, Trevor Siemian, three times.
The Falcons are coming off a week, where they should have lost the game if not for a controversial blown call at the end of the game featuring Golden Tate’s potential game-winning touchdown. That being said, a win is a win and the Falcons are coming into this game with an undefeated record.
The Falcons have a lot of weapons on offense. Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman can both blaze defenses with their speed and quickness out of the backfield. To top that, both running backs can catch the ball out of the backfield, adding a layer of offense to an already stacked receiving unit.
Julio Jones is still one of the most, if not the most, dominant receiver in the NFC and Matt Ryan loves throwing the ball his way. Last week alone, Ryan tossed the ball 12 times to Jones, who caught seven of them for 91 yards on the day.
Last week, Ryan had a bad week for turnovers. He threw three interceptions, allowing the Lions to make a comeback in the game, but ultimately it did not kill the Falcons.
The Bills will have their hands full defensively and will have some matchup issues trying to cover Jones, the deceptively fast Taylor Gabriel, the possession receiver Mohamed Sanu and still manage to cover the running backs out of the backfield.
The Bills will need to get around Ryan in a hurry to try and shut down their passing attack, while also not letting Freeman or Coleman get any space for a ground-game.
The Falcons are one of the most dominant teams in the NFL. The Bills could pull off a win against the Falcons, but it is unlikely if the Bills cannot force turnovers. The Falcons seem to have this one in the bag.