After two close calls the undefeated Atlanta Falcons host the struggling Oakland Raiders Sunday afternoon at the Georgia Dome.
At 5-0 the Falcons are off to their best start in team history, but had some scares the past two weeks, including their 24-17 win over the Washington Redskins, who were without star rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III for most of the game.
Receiver Santana Moss put Washington up 17-14 with a 77-yard touchdown reception from back-up Kirk Cousins, but Atlanta’s Matt Ryan answered with two consecutive scoring drives, capped by running back Michael Turner’s 13-yard scamper with 2:46 left for the win.
Ryan was not nearly as accurate as he has been all season, completing 34 of his 52 pass attempts for 345 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Atlanta’s defense did their part, holding the NFL's highest-scoring offense to just 17 points and 12 first downs, along with two picks off Cousins.
The Falcons have shown they can win close games, while the 1-3 Raiders have given up at least 31 points to three straight opponents.
Oakland had a bye in Week 5, which gave them time to mull over their 37-6 loss to the Denver Broncos.
The Raiders defense gave up 21 unanswered points to Denver in the third quarter, with quarterback Peyton Manning throwing two of his three touchdowns in the period.
Oakland only managed 56 rushing yards, and quarterback Carson Palmer completed 19 of his 34 passes for 202 yards.
Ranking 30th in scoring defense and 25th in yards allowed, the Raiders have a difficult test against the Falcons, who are fifth in the league with 29.6 points per game.
The game begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be shown by CBS, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: Atlanta is favored by 10 points
Over/Under: 48.5 points
Prediction: Oakland has a poor history of losses coming off a bye week, and the Falcons are battle tested and primed to match their best record in franchise history. Look for Atlanta to take a commanding lead in the NFC with a win.
Predicted Score: Atlanta 30, Oakland 18