Fantasy Football News

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Night Football (On NFL Network) Kicks off with Heavyweight Matchup

Aside from the first week of the season in which the Vikings and Saints kicked off the season on a Thursday night, tonight is the first of several Thursday night games that will be aired on NFL Network.

The matchup between the two conferences' top teams, Baltimore Ravens (6-2; first in AFC North) and Atlanta Falcons (6-2; first in NFC South), has been anticipated for a while now. Matt Ryan vs. Joe Flacco, two third-year quarterbacks whose careers have gotten off to a quick start and have great weapons at their disposal on the offensive side of the ball. Both offenses are very similar. Baltimore has a great run game combination of the short, quick Ray Rice and the red zone presence of Willis McGahee while Atlanta has the explosive Michael Turner, a TD machine.
Baltimore clearly has the defensive advantage with Ed Reed roaming the defensive secondary. Reed, in his two games this season, has three interceptions and one forced fumble. I wouldn't expect anything less than a INT or two tonight, despite playing against the elite Matt Ryan and Roddy White.

Baltimore also has the coaching advantage with coach John Harbaugh, who is 26-14 in his third season in Baltimore. But, I think one of the biggest reasons why I have picked Baltimore to beat Atlanta tonight is because of the fact that Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White (ankle) is listed as questionable. Yes, it's very likely that he will still play, but nonetheless he will not be 100% no matter what he tells the press. Because of this, Atlanta's pass game will be exposed and Baltimore's defense is likely to take advantage of this.

Prediction: Baltimore 28, Atlanta 24

Photo Credit
Willis McGahee: AP Photo/Nick Wass

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