John’s Well-Educated Guesses: Week 7 – The Recap

Every week I make predictions about how things will play out in the game.  I’m a man of integrity and I always answer for my predictions.  It’s time to pay the piper. 

Prediction: We will have no answer for Julio Jones. He seems to be healthy after being slowed down by an injury for a few weeks. He is also mad about his lack of touches, and the coaching staff in ATL has said they are going to do whatever it takes to get him the ball. We are well aware of this. We are going to double him all night. But Gilmore is out. Rowe is out. Malcolm is going to get the assignment with safety help but its not going to be enough. Julio eats no matter who is covering him, and that includes 5'10" guys who are MELTING in their contract year. He goes for over 100 and 2, count em, 2 tuddies.

Result: It looks like I was as right as I could have been while still being wrong.  13 targets for 9 catches.  99 yards with 1 tuddy.  I’ll be honest that when I look at that production, it didn’t seem like he was that effective in real time.  The combination of better communication in the secondary and Matt Ryan looking a little off made it feel like a frustrating day for Julio.  The fog certainly helped at the end making it impossible to go long.  The lone TD was a grown man play as he ripped the ball away from Malcolm Butler.  I don’t think anyone has an answer for this guy.

Prediction: But on the other hand, the Falcons have no answer for Gronk. I know the teams are slightly different. And I know the Super Bowl is ancient history. It doesn't matter. Gronk said we aren't even allowed to talk about it. But the Falcons didn't seem him last February. And as much tape as they watch it's impossible to simulate what this man can do on the football field. Their linebackers are some of the fastest around, but they are small and quick. Gronk will use his strength to get body position on them and haul in pass after pass. I think he will be instrumental on third down and in the read area. Lets say for me to be right he needs over 5 catches, over 60 yards, and a tuddy.

Result: Once again, I was in the right neighborhood, wrong house.  7 targets, 3 catches, 51 yards and no tuddy.  Truth be told, Gronk made his biggest contribution in the run game.  He is a beast when blocking and watching Brandin Cooks walk into the endzone behind him was a thing of beauty.  I still think Gronk is the straw that stirs the drink, and he is the guy they go to when we are in trouble.  I don’t think anyone has an answer for this guy.

Prediction: We don't turn the ball over. A lot of talk has been made about how ATL are ball hawks. Ball Falcons? Is that the joke? Idk, it's Friday. But its a point of emphasis. Bill showed the tape of Blount's Super Bowl fumble to the team this week, highlighting how the Falcons are always ripping at the pig skin like vultures. Man, lot of bird references. This is getting away from me. I know my boy Tommy isn't throwing a pick. I know GIlly will never fumble again, his life depends on it. We can't afford to give them free possessions and we wont.

Result:  I nailed this one, although it sure didn’t look this way when Brady gift wrapped an interception on the worst decision ever.  I normally get hyphy when I see him making time and pointing for a WR to make a break.  This time the result was just….different.  Luckily the refs bailed us out with a (deserved) roughing the passer penalty.  I will miss those calls when Brady is gone.  Otherwise, the turnovers tightened up.  This will be key moving forward, along with avoiding penalties.

Prediction: I almost picked a loss here. I almost did. But that's coward shit. We're the Pats. We've lost twice at home already this year. It's SNF. Tom is pissed. We lost the Hawks bowl rematch at home. We aint losing this one. I remember saying I didn't think the Saints game would be the shootout everyone expected. This one will be. Pats hang on in a very exciting prime time game 38-34. LETS BRING THIS SUCKER HOME!

Result: a 27-7 win in a game I thought we could easily lose is good enough for me.  The Patriots finally look like the Patriots again.  I’m thinking we’ve weathered the early season storm with enough wins to be ok.  Let’s get healthy and string a few of these together.