In Week 12 of the 2020 NFL season, the Las Vegas Raiders will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. We look at their offseason and how the Raiders can win.
The last time the Raiders met the Atlanta Falcons, the teams were in significantly different places then they are today. It was the 2016 season, the last season in which the Raiders had made the playoffs. In a very close game, the Falcons edged the Raiders in Oakland 35-28. The win by the Falcons set the all-time match up series at 7-7.
So this year who will break the tiebreaker?
The 2016 season also culminated in the Falcons losing the Super Bowl in epic fashion to the New England Patriots, but that is a story for another time.
The Week 12 match up will be an interesting one, as usually that late in the season the indicators are pretty strong about who are the contenders and pretenders. Both teams have not come close to that 2016 season in terms of success since, but both were knocking on the door of a playoff berth in 2019.
The match up in Atlanta will look slightly different, as new faces on both teams will play a large part in this game and could also decide the game in favor of one or the other.
The Falcons looked like a very different team later in the 2019 season. Head coach Dan Quinn was in an unusual situation in 2019, as he had anointed himself defensive coordinator. After a very rocky first half to the season, he relinquished defensive play-calling duties to linebacker coach Jeff Ulbrich.
With Ulbrich in charge of the defensive calls, the Falcons came alive late in the season and won their last four games, which included a win over eventual NFC champion, the San Francisco 49ers.
Can the Falcons ride the momentum of their late success into a new season? Or can the Raiders find a way to stifle quarterback Matt Ryan and come away with a tough win in Atlanta?