The Atlanta Falcons will host the New England Patriots at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Nov. 18 on FOX and NFL Network's "Thursday Night Football" at 8:20 p.m. ET.
With the last meeting between these clubs taking place in 2017, a lot has changed with both teams. Rookie Mac Jones or Cam Newton will be the starting quarterback for New England and Atlanta has a new coaching staff. This matchup doesn't take place often and appears to be one with many intriguing storylines.
After finishing 4-12 season, the Falcons made significant changes on both the coaching and personnel side of the business. Arthur Smith was hired as head coach and he'll be calling the plays on offense. Smith brought in veteran defensive coordinator Dean Pees to run his defense and the unit will look different than year's past with his blitz-heavy 3-4 scheme. Terry Fontenot was hired as Atlanta's general manager after spending 17 years with the New Orleans Saints in their front office.
The Patriots finished the 2020 season with a 7-9 record and drafted Jones out of Alabama with the No. 15 overall pick. New England also added several players who are expected to assume starting roles in free agency in tight end Jonnu Smith, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and tight end Hunter Henry.