Atlanta Falcons (4-6, 4-6 ATS) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8, 4-6), 1 p.m.
Brolley’s Falcons Stats and Trends
Atlanta is 1-3 ATS with three games toward unders in its last four games.
The Falcons averaged just 3.2 yards per play against the Patriots and they were shut out for the first time in six seasons.
Matt Ryan has fallen below nine FP in three of his last four games, and he’s hit rock bottom the last two weeks with a combined 270 scoreless passing yards with four INTs. He’s getting absolutely no help from his running game or his receiving corps, and the Jaguars have held the last three QBs they’ve faced to under 16 FP.
Kyle Pitts couldn’t survive the extra attention from the Patriots last week, finishing with 3/29 receiving on five targets. He’s finished with 10 FP or fewer in four straight games since he exploded for 16/282/1 receiving in two games in Weeks 5-7. George Kittle came through with 4/34/1 receiving in this matchup last week.
Russell Gage paced this pathetic passing attack in a shutout loss to the Patriots in Week 11, seeing a team-high eight targets (25% share) for 5/49 receiving. Gage has a rock-bottom floor with two goose eggs since their Week 6 bye, but he’s been a serviceable PPR option in his other three games in that span with a combined 16/180/1 receiving.
Cordarrelle Patterson injured his ankle in Week 10 and he nearly played on Thursday Night Football against the Patriots even with a quick turnaround to get ready. The Falcons ultimately decided to rest him after putting him through the pregame paces, but it appears he should have a good chance to play against the Jaguars in Week 12. Patterson posted 14+ FP in seven straight games before picking up his ankle injury in Week 10, and he should go back to being an RB1 option if he’s close to full health. Jacksonville struggled with another dual-threat player last week, as Deebo Samuel finished with 8/79/1 rushing and 1/15 receiving.
Qadree Ollison actually showed a pulse compared to Mike Davis and Wayne Gallman in Week 11, who combined for 4/-2 rushing and 3/20 receiving. Ollison posted 9/34 rushing and 2/0 receiving on three targets on 48% snap share in his first offensive action of the season against the Patriots. The Jags limited San Francisco’s potent rushing attack to 29/82 rushing for 2.8 YPC last week.
Brolley’s Jaguars Stats and Trends
The Jaguars have played under the total in five straight games
Jacksonville is 2-6 ATS in its last eight home games.
The Jaguars had 33 of the first 37 plays run against them by the 49ers in Week 11.
Trevor Lawrence is averaging just 146.0 passing yards per game and 5.1 YPA over the last three weeks, and he’s scored just 38.1 FP combined in four games in Weeks 8-11. He completed 16/25 passes for 158 scoreless yards (6.3 YPA) against the 49ers in Week 11. The Falcons are giving up the second-most FPG (20.9) to QBs to give him some hope this week.
Laviska Shenault should move back into his more natural position in the slot after Jamal Agnew suffered a season-ending hip injury last week. The second-year WR had his best showing since Week 6, catching all five of his targets for 50 yards with a lost fumble. Jakobi Meyers posted 4/39 receiving on six targets in this matchup last week, which came a week after CeeDee Lamb went nuclear with 6/94/2.
Marvin Jones has fallen below 10 FP in six of his last seven games, but he’s still leading the team with an 18% target share in that span. Nelson Agholor went for 5/40/1 receiving in this matchup last week.
Dan Arnold led the Jaguars in receiving yards in three straight games in Weeks 8-10 with 60+ yards in each contest. Then, Week 11 happened. He failed to see even a single target against the 49ers, who has been one of the league’s toughest defenses against tight ends. It’s going to be tough to go back to Arnold after his extremely disappointing Week 11 performance, but he had 7+ targets in four of his first five games as a full-time player for the Jaguars. Hunter Henry managed just 2/25 receiving on three targets against the Falcons last week.
James Robinson hasn’t been quite right playing through heel and knee injuries the last two weeks, posting a combined 24/86/2 rushing (3.6 YPC) and 6/36 receiving on eight targets (YPR). He’s still survived with 30.2 FP despite seeing his snap share dip to around 60% in both contests. The Falcons are giving up a healthy 147.2 scrimmage yards per game to RBs this season.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 27.4 (12th)
Plays per game: 63.9 (28th)
Pass: 63.1% (12th) | Run: 36.9% (21st)
Pace: 27.6 (14th)
Plays per game: 63.0 (30th)
Pass: 61.7% (14th) | Run: 38.3% (19th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
In theory, this is a spot where the Jaguars should try to come out and run the ball. In theory! Jacksonville is the fifth-most run-heavy team above expected in neutral situations (+5.7%) and Atlanta’s defense is facing the most runs above expected (+10.8%) on their side. There is no way you can have confidence in anyone on the Jags’ besides James Robinson.
The Falcons showed their lack of depth at receiver last week and how bad this offense can get in a post-Calvin Ridley world. In fact, since Ridley last played in Week 8, the Falcons are second-from-last in drives ending in a score (20.5%) while the Jaguars are third-from-last (22%) in this span. Fun! If you’re an optimist, the saving grace in this game is that these two offenses play fairly fast and their defenses are awful. Overall, this is the fifth-fastest game on the Week 12 slate and the third-fastest if we exclude the Thanksgiving games.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
It’s such a relief to see the Jaguars no longer playing games with their stud RB. I’d be foolish not to wonder how the workload will be distributed when Travis Etienne does return to the field. But his rehabilitation is likely to spill over into the next season quite a bit. For now, James Robinson is the bellcow for a team with a defense that is improving on a weekly basis. Whether it was in an effort to pass along some type of message to J-Rob, he’s averaged 17.8 FPG since taking over the backfield prior to Week 3. And that average includes Week 8 when he left in the first quarter with a bruised heel. If we exclude that game, he’s averaged 23.2 FPG in the PPR format on DK. Those 23.2 FPG would only be bested by the 26.0 from both Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor. With that in mind, under what conditions should Robinson not be the primary target of our attention against an Atlanta defense supporting 27.9 FPG (fourth-most) and 4.80 red zone touches (eighth-most) to opposing RBs?
I’m amazed at how well the Jacksonville defense has played since Week 2 without big names leading the way. No QB this season has managed more than 22.6 FPs during that time. That list includes Jimmy Garoppolo (15.6), Carson Wentz (7.1), Josh Allen (9.6), Tua Tagovailoa (21.4), Ryan Tannehill (14.0), Joe Burrow (22.3), Kyler Murray (18.5), and Teddy Bridgewater (21.2). Quality safety play and a relentless pass rush leave me with concerns that Matt Ryan will be able to find success in this spot.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
What an absolute slop fest this game looks like. The Falcons have scored 3 points in their last two games. If Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle) can’t play, they’ll struggle to score against a Jaguars defense that is outpacing its offense — while Jacksonville can’t figure out how to go forward with the ball, they’ve actually started to consistently pressure the QB, which is bad news for Matt Ryan.
- If you need any more evidence that Mike Davis is dead, look no further. Falcons RB snaps in Week 11 without Cordarrelle Patterson were: Davis (48%) and Qadree Ollison (48%).
Arthur Smith said Qadree Ollison ran a pretty physical game last Thursday, and "he's earned the right for more carries."— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) November 24, 2021
Yeah, so much for that Wayne Gallman involvement! If Patterson is out, you can’t play any of these backs. If he goes, he’s a must-start. It’s that simple. (He’s officially questionable.)
While TE Kyle Pitts is eventually going to show why the Falcons made him the highest-picked TE of all time in April, the Falcons completely lack any other weapons to take attention away from him. Here’s that dude Graham again:
- Kyle Pitts’ roller coaster season continued after getting shut down by the Patriots for 3/29 on six targets.
- Outside of the two games against the Jets (26.9 FP) and Dolphins (23.3 FP) in Weeks 5 and 7, Pitts is averaging just 3.4 receptions, 44.1 yards, and 7.8 fantasy points per game in his eight other outings.
You have to start Pitts, but with Calvin Ridley still taking time off to focus on mental health, there is just no one else here who scares a defense. I just don’t know if the Jags have someone who can match up to him.
I mean, there’s just so little to say about the Jaguars right now. Their offense is abominable. Here’s Graham from Stat-Pack:
- This offense is just pitiful. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t thrown a TD since Week 8 and he’s completed 54.6% of his throws for 5.1 YPA and 146 YPG over his last three games. Get Urban Meyer out of Duval ASAP.
The Jaguars have even broken poor young Jake Tribbey, Dan Arnold’s biggest fan. Despite Arnold being the Jags’ best receiver for over a month… he wasn’t even targeted against the 49ers last week. Still, with Jamal Agnew on IR with a hip injury, Jake is going back to the well at fantasy’s thinnest position. From Streamers:
After I pumped up Arnold as the top TE streamer of Week 11, he posted 0 targets and 0.0 fantasy points. While that performance would put a bad taste in any streamer’s mouth, I have no problem going back to the well given what Arnold did in the 5 weeks prior. From Weeks 6 through 10, Arnold ranked 10th among TEs in FPG (10.7), 6th in targets per game (7.4), and 6th in yards per game (57.2). And he did all of that without finding the end zone. And with Jamal Agnew (the 2nd-most targeted Jaguar over that 5 week stretch) now on IR, there are about 5.6 more targets per game to be distributed amongst the remaining receivers. That should absolutely help Arnold in keeping his low-end TE1 production going. Arnold is once again the top streaming option of the week in a rather neutral matchup against Atlanta.
With Agnew on IR, the Jaguars will likely give more slot work to Laviska Shenault, where he, frankly, is better. Shenault averages 2.16 yards and 0.44 fantasy points per route out of the slot, vs. 1.77 YPRR and 0.36 FPRR outside. So he’s on the deep radar if you can actually stomach playing him — that is, of course, presuming Laquon Treadwell joins Marvin Jones as outside receivers.
Shenault is probably better suited as a “gadget” player… and it seems like they’ve finally figured it out.
Jaguars coach Urban Meyer in talking about creating more explosive offensive plays mentions the idea of getting Laviska Shenualt, Jr. some touches out of the backfield.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 26, 2021
Sign me up for that.
I do not want to think about this game any more and I hope you don’t spend too much time thinking about it either.