Still feeling the pain of a first round exit in last year's playoffs, the Atlanta Falcons hit the road to take on the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Falcons will implement a new high-powered offense led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who Atlanta expects to help them win their second NFC South title in three seasons.
Ryan threw for 4,177 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, but failed to generate any offense in the playoffs as they fell 24-2 to the eventual the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
Atlanta hired new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to bring creativity to the offense, like more three receiver sets that can free up Roddy White and upcoming and coming receiver Julio Jones. The duo combined for 2,255 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 154 receptions.
The sets could also relieve pressure on veteran running back Michael Turner, whose workload the Falcons hope to decrease.
The Chiefs suffered numerous injuries on offense last, with running back Jamaal Charles and quarterback Matt Cassel being the most significant.
Despite their depleted offense, Kansas City still managed a 7-9 record thanks to their defense. Ranked 11th in total defense, the Chiefs secondary gave up an average of 201.3 passing yards a game.
Kansas City cornerback Brandon Flowers, and linebackers Derrick Jovan Belcher are listed as questionable, and safety Kendrick Lewis is out, which could give the Falcons the opening they need for the victory.
Atlanta should be at full strength, with reserve running back Jason Snelling and cornerback Chris Owens listed as probable for Sunday.
The match-up begins at 1pm eastern time and will be broadcast by Fox, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: Atlanta is favored by 3 points.
Prediction: With a new offense built around him, Ryan should have a strong outing connecting with White and Jones. The Chiefs offense will have to run and control the clock to keep Atlanta off the field, so expect a big game from Charles.
Predicted Score: Atlanta 24, Kansas City 17
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