The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons were supposed to bring finely tuned offenses to the table this season. While each has shown glimpses of that, neither can find any consistency. The difference as these two teams meet today on NFL Sunday Night Football on NBC is the Patriots are 3-0 while the Falcons are only 1-2. Watch Sunday Night Football online free live streaming on NBC instructions are waiting below.
New England has never really struggled with Tom Brady under center and last season had the most prolific offense in all the NFL. This season with Wes Welker gone and some key injuries, Brady and his offense have only put up 19.7 points per game, one of 11 teams stuck with the dubious distinction. When it gets to the red zone, the Patriots are dead last in efficiency in the league.
With Wes Welker gobbling up passing from Peyton Manning out west, the thought this season is that Brady would fill that gap with a healthy tight end Rob Gronkowski and free agent acquisition Danny Amendola. The problem is both have been hurt, so Brady has been trying, and failing, to sync up with rookie receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, as well as Julian Edelman. At least Edelman has a league-tying 27 catches thus far.
Bailing out the Patriots so far has been their tough defense. At 11.3 points per game allowed through three games, they are tied for second place with the Chiefs in that category. Only the Seahawks have allowed fewer points per game at 9. When other teams start to threaten, the Patriots have found a knack for forcing turnovers as they have done so the second most in the AFC.
The Falcons lost a tough game to the Dolphins last week despite score 23 points in the game. In fact, Atlanta has scored almost 24 points per game this season but only has one win to show for it. They have been giving up too many points at the end of halves and games, and their red zone efficiency is also poor, just like their opponent today.
With new running back Steven Jackson out again due to injury, the Falcons will be counting on wide receiver Julio Jones to keep catching passes. Jones leads the league with 378 yards through the air and is quickly becoming one of the best receivers in the league. The Patriots will be keying on him so this will be a big test today.
Tonight’s NFL Sunday Night Football game that will air exclusively on NBC will officially kick off at a 8:30pm EST / 5:30pm PST start time in high definition (HD). NBC does offer an official free live online streaming version of Sunday Night Football where you can watch most of the Sunday action here, but for full access via mobile devices such as cell phones, iPads and computers, you would have to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket via DirecTV and fork out a little cash. I predict the Patriots offense wakes up this game and puts up over 30 points on the Falcons defense.