On Sunday the Falcons make their final, and coldest, road trip of the season to Buffalo to face the Bills. Though the Bills may not have run away with their division as everyone expected they would for the next decade, at 9-6 they have still shown to be one of the league's stronger teams this season.
Facing a formidable opponent would be challenging enough in and of itself, however, to make things a little more interesting the weather forecast is calling snow and a high of 30° in an outdoor stadium. Tough for a team who has enjoyed the Georgian climate all season. However, the Falcons greatest challenge may be an internal one as they now have 13 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Fortunately, few of the names are foundation pieces on the offensive and defensive ends but some key role players remain in question for Sunday.
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions during Week 16.
We know the Bills have a strong offense with Josh Allen under center throwing to Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders. Throw in Devon Singletary coming out of the backfield is good for almost 5-yards per carry too. However, it might be the Bills secondary that poses the Falcons the most trouble. Coming into Sunday the Bills rank first in opponent completion percentage, yards per attempt, they've given up the fewest passing touchdowns and have the third most interceptions in the league. Those are impressive stats. Their Achilles heel is their front seven and with a snowy game on the horizon it might be a safe assumption that both teams will be running more than passing on Sunday. Look for the Falcons to expose the Bills front seven with Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Davis.
The Falcons have a lot to play for on Sunday. Though the odds are incredibly stacked against them they have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, right now they have about a two percent chance to make the playoffs. Additionally, there are a variety of milestones on the horizon. Kyle Pitts is only 128-yards away from passing Mike Ditka's all-time rookie tight end receiving record and with three 100-yard games so far this season that is well within reach. Matt Ryan is one touchdown away from passing Eli Manning for ninth on the all-time passing touchdown leaders.
With all that to take in let's take a look at who the experts have picked to win on Sunday
*Picks made as of Dec. 30
|Author | Outlet||Pick||2021 Record|
|Jarrett Bell | USA Today||Bills||11-4|
|Matt Bowen | ESPN||Bills||9-6|
|Gregg Rosenthal | NFL.com||Bills||9-6|
|Gary Davenport | Bleacher Report||Bills||8-7|
|Brad Gagnon | Bleacher Report||Falcons||11-4|
|Vinnie Iyer | Sporting News||Bills||11-4|
|Rob Ninkovich | ESPN||Bills||9-5|
|Jason La Confora | CBS Sports||Bills||11-4|
|Pete Prisco | CBS Sports||Bills||9-6|
|Lorenzo Reyes | USA Today||Bills||10-5|