Editor’s note: NESN.com’s Mike Cole, Ricky Doyle and Andre Khatchaturian deliver their NFL picks every Thursday of the season, and here’s who they like in the Green Bay Packers-Atlanta Falcons Week 2 game, with the line from MyBookie.AG.
Green Bay Packers at (-3) Atlanta Falcons, 8:30 p.m.
Mike: Packers. The Packers’ defense isn’t as good as it looked last week against Seattle’s horrendous offensive line, but the Bears proved you can get pressure up the middle against the Falcons, which is exactly what Mike Daniels loves to do on the Green Bay defensive line. That the Packers aren’t starting a third- or fourth-string cornerback like they did in the NFC Championship Game is an added bonus.
Ricky: Falcons. This is exactly where the Falcons’ speed on defense could become a huge factor — particularly as it relates to closing on guys like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery, all of whom can do damage in space after catching passes on short and intermediate routes. It’s also hard to imagine the Packers controlling the clock like they did in Week 1 against the Seahawks, as Atlanta’s rushing attack — and offensive in general — is a lot better than Seattle’s ground game.
Andre: Falcons. I’m not sure the Packers’ defense has improved that much over the last year to stop Matt Ryan for doing what he did in the NFC Championship Game again. The Falcons were up 31-0 in that game before the Packers chipped away in garbage time. Aaron Rodgers won’t let that happen again and I’m sure he’ll have a great game, but who will stop Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman?
Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images