NFL betting lines handicappers were impressed and excited about the Atlanta Falcons 20-10 win over Kansas City in the preseason opener. The Falcons easily got the cash as 2.5-point chalks to get off to the best possible start and were the beneficiaries of solid performances from their backups and rookies.
Atlanta starting quarterback Matt Ryan saw limited action but felt good about the game as he directed the Falcons no huddle offense for a couple of series before taking the rest of the night off. Ryan worked well with veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez as they connected on pass completions of 16 and 12 yards.
“I thought we did a pretty good job,” said Ryan. “We just need to tighten some things up. I think we knocked some of the rust off. I think we made strides.”
Atlanta wanted to emphasize better defensive play in the preseason and was not disappointed in the win over the Chiefs.
“As a defense, we seem to be playing a lot better,” said the Falcons John Abraham, who recovered a fumble in the win. “I think it’s just coming to maturity. Being in the defense three years now, I think a lot more of the guys understand their role and understand the concept of the defense we play.”
Atlanta finished 28th in pass defense last year and showed marked improvement against KC with two sacks and two interceptions.
“I think we did well,” said safety Thomas DeCoud.
Thursday night the Falcons will face a far more dangerous offense than Kansas City’s when they host the New England Patriots in a sports betting matchup of potential playoff teams.
“Tom Brady’s a great quarterback, the offense over there can win,” said DeCoud. “So it’s one of those things where now we’ve got one notch under our belt, now let’s go get one bigger notch and see really where we measure up with the elite teams in this league.”
Safety Erik Coleman is also excited about Thursday’s challenge against the Patriots. “Tom Brady, he’s one of the best,” said Coleman. “He has a great receiving corps. We’ll get a chance to see where we are.”
Coleman was impressed with how the unit performed against the Chiefs as he felt optimistic, as everyone betting NFL preseason action is expecting an improved Falcons team.
“It’s good to see some guys out there step up, some young guys,” said Coleman. “We definitely have a foundation that we can build on.”