Falcons vs. Patriots 2017: Start time, TV schedule for ‘Sunday Night Football’

A Super Bowl rematch between two teams with major questions to answer.

The Patriots defense can’t stop anyone through the air — including the Jets. The Falcons somehow found a way to lose to the half-on-vacation Jay Cutler and the Dolphins. In Week 7, two championship teams with major questions to answer meet on Sunday Night Football, broadcast live at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC (live stream).

Sunday’s game is a rematch of one of the greatest Super Bowls on record. Matt Ryan’s Falcons sprinted out to a 28-3 third quarter lead before the Patriot defense showed up. New England’s sudden competence, combined with Tom Brady’s Tom Brady-ness, led to 25 unanswered points and the first-ever overtime period at the Super Bowl. The Patriots took that opening drive 75 yards to cap off the greatest comeback in league history — and introduce Atlanta to a whole new level of loss.

Time, TV channel, and streaming info

  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
  • TV: NBC
  • Streaming: NBC Sports Live
  • Odds: New England is favored by 3.5 points.

Falcons at Patriots news:

  • Atlanta isn’t done blowing big leads to AFC East teams, as last week’s loss to the Dolphins proved:

“(We had a) 17-point lead at the half, and to come away without a win is disappointing. Just a pretty inconsistent game for us,” Matt Ryan said after the loss.

The Falcons may have thought they’d get a respite from 28-3 jokes until their trip to New England for a Super Bowl rematch next week. The loss to the Dolphins just gave folks more blown-lead material to work with, however.

  • Six straight passers have thrown for 300+ yards against the Patriots this season — including the immortal Josh McCown:

McCown carved up the Patriots defense in the first half of their AFC East showdown, getting his team out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter before New England stormed back in a 24-17 victory. Despite the loss, McCown managed to throw for 354 yards to keep the Pats’ ignominious streak alive.

  • The Falcons offense has been bad — and Dan Quinn is banishing offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to the press box to fix it:

Dan Quinn has sent Sarkisian back to the booth. He’s supposed to be running the same offense as Kyle Shanahan. Maybe he needs to coach from the same place as Shanahan?

  • Noted runner Brady is on pace to break the 1,000 rushing yard barrier in 2017…for his career:

Brady has 961 career rushing yards and with his impressive average of 4.0 rushing yards per game, he should surpass 1,000 rushing yards in 10 games- also known as the 2017 season finale.

And it doesn’t appear that Brady’s late-career rushing renaissance should play a major factor in his timeline to achieve 1,000 rushing yards; he’s averaged just 3.9 rushing yards per game since the start of the 2014 season.

How will Brady follow up his last performance against the Falcons?

Brady’s fourth Super Bowl MVP was his most impressive. Not only did he lead the Patriots back from a 25-point deficit, but he also shredded the Atlanta secondary for 466 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’s had to be similarly superhuman to lead New England to a 4-2 start; he leads the league in passing yards with 327 per game. He’ll need another big performance Sunday to notch his team’s biggest win of the season.

Falcons at Patriots prediction:

Six of our eight experts took the Patriots to win in their Week 7 picks. OddsShark’s computer, however, thinks that the Falcons will get their revenge.

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