TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 1, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Rogers Centre
Weather: High 38, Low 28
Line: Buffalo (-3)
It has been one of the most forgettable seasons in recent memory for the Atlanta Falcons and who knew at the beginning of the season that Atlanta would be on pace for a top-five pick in the 2014 NFL draft come week 13? Not many people. With just a 2-9 record on the year with five games remaining, the Falcons have no shot at a .500 record nor the playoffs, but they will be playing for pride from here on out. Matt Ryan hasn’t had his best season as he has passed for 3,160 yards and 18 touchdowns on the year while seeing his receiving corps diminish. Ryan’s favorite target since Julio Jones‘ injury has been Harry Douglas who has caught 60 passes for 833 yards and two touchdowns. The run game has been non-existent behind Steven Jackson, ranking 31st in the league with under 75 yards per game.
On the other side of the field, the Buffalo Bills haven’t had the most successful season, either, posting a 4-7 record and having to play a handful of games without their starting rookie quarterback and first-round pick, EJ Manuel. The rookie has passed for 1,385 yards and just eight touchdowns on the year while struggling to get and stay healthy. Steve Johnson has played well at receiver, although the yards aren’t quite there for an elite wide out, catching 41 passes for 471 yards and three touchdowns. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller have been quite the dynamic duo, combining for 1,098 yards and seven touchdowns on the year.
Defensively, the Falcons have been as poor as any unit in the NFL this season. Atlanta ranks 27th in total yards allowed, 29th in points allowed, 24th in passing yards allowed and 28th in rushing yards allowed per game. The Bills, on the other hand, rank 21st in the league in points allowed per game as well as 15th in total yards per game, excelling in passing defense with a ranking of 12th in the league.
PREDICTION: Falcons 28, Bills 21