NFL Week 10 Free Pick: Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons
(6-2, 4-3-1 ATS)
(6-2, 4-4 ATS)
Two teams that are atop their own division and are tied for the best record in the NFL are going to be meeting up in the Georgia Dome in the first Thursday Night Football showdown of the fall, as the Atlanta Falcons duke it out with the Baltimore Ravens in what should be a fantastic clash.
We have been waiting for the Ravens to come out and be just an angry team, and that finally happened last week when they bombed the Miami Dolphins 26-10. Offensively, Baltimore should be doing enough to win a lot of games this year. The Ravens rank No. 15 in the league in both total offense at 348.0 yards per game and scoring at 21.9 points per game. Baltimore has gotten a good year out of QB Joe Flacco. He has thrown for 1,917 yards and 12 TDs so far in eight games this year, and he is doing a nice job taking care of the football with just six picks. RB Ray Rice has 606 yards on the ground this year, but his drawback is that he just has two TDs this year. WR Anquan Boldin has 40 catches and is on pace for a 1,000 yard season, as he has 546 yards and five scores. However, it is that defense that finally came to play after back to back bad weeks against the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills that impressed us. SS Ed Reed is back, and he promptly picked off a pass in his first game back from injury this year.
Is Atlanta the best team in the NFC this year? The Falcons sure look a heck of a lot like last year’s team that narrowly missed the playoffs, but the rest of the NFC seems to have come back to the field. The difference on the offense this year is that RB Michael Turner is really on the ball. Turner has 694 yards this year on the ground and has already found pay dirt five times. As a result, QB Matt Ryan is able to get some more time to look around to throw. He has thrown for 1,949 yards and 13 scores against five picks, and he is well on his way to having the best season of his career. On the other side of the ball, the secondary is still struggling this year even though DB Dunta Robinson supposedly was going to come in and solidify this unit. What the Falcons have going for them right now is that they have won six of their last seven games and are on a real roll right now. The problem is that four of the next five are on the road after this one, and all but one of these games from now through January are against playoff contenders.
This game is really a tossup, and it’s going to be a difficult one to make a call. If WR Roddy White is going to be out of the lineup, the Falcons are going to be hurting, and he is nursing a knee injury. There are just too many question marks right now for Atlanta, and for as long as the Ravens have this mean streak about them, we can’t go against them.
NFL Free Pick: Baltimore Ravens +1
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