NFL Week 2 odds: Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons
Peyton Manning’s Denver debut and first game since the 2010 playoffs was a success as he led the Broncos to a win over Pittsburgh in Week 1. But things will be much tougher Monday night at the Georgia Dome as the Falcons looked strong in a dominating win over Kansas City a week ago.
Manning, the four-time MVP coming off four neck surgeries, completed 19 of 26 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-19 win. He got a big assist from another free agent, cornerback Tracy Porter, whose 43-yard interception return of a Ben Roethlisberger pass with 2 minutes left sealed the win. Manning hit Demaryius Thomas with a 71-yard touchdown toss for his first as a Bronco. It was his 400th career TD toss. Thomas caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, while Willis McGahee carried the ball 16 times for 64 yards in the victory.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns, one of them to Tony Gonzalez in his return to Kansas City, as the Falcons won 40-24. Ryan also ran for a TD, while Julio Jones caught six passes for 108 yards and two scores. Jones has 10 career touchdowns and four two-touchdown games. Ryan has thrown at least one TD pass in 16 straight games. The Falcons are 25-5 when Ryan throws two or more scoring passes.
Versus a vulnerable Kansas City run defense in Week 1, the Falcons had only 84 yards rushing, but even more alarming was a lack of explosive run plays. The best way to beat the Broncos right now is to keep Manning on the sideline and limit his possessions. Also, Ryan is an excellent play-action QB but that only works if the defense respects the threat of the run. The season-ending injury suffered by Atlanta’s best corner, Brent Grimes, puts a huge hole in this defense and it has a trickle-down effect for the entire unit.
Since 1996, the Broncos have NFL’s best record (41-18) in the first month of the season, including games played in August and September. Denver is playing Monday night game for 21st consecutive year, longest active streak in NFL. Streak began in 1992.
Under coach Mike Smith, the Falcons are 26-6 in home games last four seasons, NFL’s third-best mark in that span. Atlanta WR Roddy White is looking to extend streak of productive games vs. AFC teams. He has 80 catches for 1,186 yards and 10 TDs in last 10 games against AFC.
WAGERWEB.COM ODDS: Falcons -3 (51)
BRONCOS NOTES: Aim for 5th consecutive win at Atl … QB Peyton Manning is 11-3 (.786) on MNF. Is 3-1 vs. Falcons & has completed 89 of 124 passes (71.8 pct.) for 1,046 yards with 13 TDs vs. 4 INTs & 118.5 rating. For career, has 100.7 passer rating vs. NFC. Manning (401) joined Brett Favre (508) & HOFer Dan Marino (420) as only players in NFL history with 400 TD passes & reached mark in fewest games (209) in NFL history … Since ’04, RB Willis McGahee ranks 4th in NFL with 59 rush TDs … WR Demaryius Thomas posted 3rd 100-yard rec. game of career last week (110) & registered career-long 71-yard TD reception … TE Jacob Tamme had TD rec. in Broncos debut last week … Defense had NFL-best 5 sacks in Week 1 … LB Von Miller tied career-best with 2 sacks last week … Rookie DE Derek Wolfe (2nd round, No. 36) posted 1st sack of career in NFL debut last week. CB Tracy Porter had 43-yard INT-TD return last week in Bronco debut.
FALCONS NOTES: QB Matt Ryan is 13-4 (.765) in career vs. AFC, incl. 7-1 (.875) mark at home with 105.6 rating (16 TDs, 2 INTs). Aims for 6th home game in row vs. AFC with 100 rating. In previous 5, has 13 TDs, 1 INT & 112.1 rating. In career, Falcons are 24-0 when Ryan has 100 rating, incl. 136.4 rating last week … In past 2 vs. Den. with 10 att., RB Michael Turner has 228 yards (114 per game) & 3 TDs. When he has 21 att., his teams are 27-2 (.931) … In past 10 vs. AFC, WR Roddy White has 80 catches for 1,186 yards (118.6 per game) & 10 TDs. Aims for 5th MNF game in row with 100 yards or TD. Since start of 2007, has 477 rec., most in NFC. WR Julio Jones had 8 catches for 128 yards & TD in only MNF game. In 4 games vs. AFC, has 5 TDs, 392 yards (98 per game) & 21.8 avg. TE Tony Gonzalez aims for 4th in row vs. Den. with TD … DE John Abraham has 113 sacks, most among active players. Has 4.5 sacks, 3 FFs & FR in past 2 at home. LB Stephen Nicholas had 12 tackles & INT last week.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Broncos are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win. Broncos are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games. Broncos are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Monday games. Falcons are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Monday games. Falcons are 0-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Falcons are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. Under is 6-1 in Falcons last 7 vs. a team with a winning record. Over is 5-1 in Broncos last 6 games overall.