NFL Football

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Denver 0 3 3 21 27
Atlanta 10 10 7 7 34
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , November 8, 2020
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia  Weather: 72°, Cloudy  Attendance: 7,665

Broncos-Falcons Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons

  1. Denver and Atlanta will meet for just the fifth time since 2001 with Atlanta winning three of the previous four. However, the Falcons have lost 12 of their last 14 games against the AFC while the Broncos have lost 9 of their last 12 against the NFC.
  2. The Broncos beat the Chargers on a last-second TD pass last week, 31-30, after trailing by 21 points in the third. It was tied for their fourth-largest comeback in franchise history. The Broncos improved to 12-2 when scoring 24 points or more since 2017 compared to 9-32 when failing to reach 24 points.
  3. The Falcons avoided back-to-back 1-7 starts with a 25-19 win over the Panthers last Thursday. The Falcons racked up 401 total net yards and rank second in the league in total offense (3208 yards) but rank dead last in total defense (3285 yards allowed) and yards allowed per play (6.56).
  4. Drew Lock became the sixth Broncos player all-time with three TD passes in the fourth quarter and the first since Peyton Manning in 2013. The Broncos are 5-1 when Lock throws for at least one touchdown but 1-3 when he does not.
  5. Julio Jones caught seven passes for 137 yards against the Panthers, his 58th career game with 100+ receiving yards, fourth most in NFL history. He has 23 catches for 371 yards in his last three games after he had just 15 receptions for 213 yards in his first three games.
  6. Todd Gurley III scored on the ground last week and has eight rush TD on the season -- only Dalvin Cook has more (10). Since joining the NFL in 2015, Gurley has an NFL-high 66 rushing touchdowns, 20 more than the next closest player (Derrick Henry with 46).
Team Comparison

21.0 Points 26.1
236.3 Pass Yds 307.8
112.9 Rush Yds 108.6
8 Takeaways 9
(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

ATLANTA (AP) Drew Lock and Matt Ryan are trying to lead season revivals for the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, respectively.

The quarterbacks also are shaping their places in their teams' long-term plans entering Sunday's game.

Lock, in his second year, is trying to prove he's the right leader to make the Broncos a playoff contender.

Ryan, 35 and in his 13th season as Atlanta's starter, wants to disprove the theory that it's time for the Falcons to rebuild, starting at the top.

Ryan says he wants to finish his career in Atlanta. After general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn were fired last month following an 0-5 start, there was speculation the Falcons would consider trade-deadline interest in their biggest stars, including Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones.

It was no surprise the deadline passed with no Falcons trades. Falcons owner Arthur Blank and president Rich McKay say they want a new GM and coach to make those most important roster decisions that will shape the team's future.

Lock threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to lead Denver to a 31-30 comeback win over the Los Angeles Chargers last week. It was an important confidence-building performance by Lock after he threw four interceptions with no scoring passes in his previous two games.

Coach Vic Fangio said the comeback win can be a career-boosting game for Lock.

"He definitely needed it," Fangio said. "Like I said, that's the only way you're going to truly have confidence and feel good. Now you've got something to build on. ... Hopefully this will spring him forward through the rest of the season."

The Broncos (3-4) have won three of their past four games since opening the season with three straight losses. Denver's only setback since the 0-3 start was a 43-16 blowout loss to Kansas City on Oct. 25.

The Falcons (2-6) have won two of three under interim coach Raheem Morris, who was promoted from defensive coordinator after Quinn was fired following an 0-5 start.

Morris has talked of the Falcons imposing their will on opponents. It hasn't been an easy lesson for Atlanta. As part of the 0-5 start, the Falcons became the first team in NFL history to squander fourth-quarter leads of at least 15 points in back-to-back games.

More heartbreak came in a 23-22 loss to Detroit on Oct. 25 in yet another fourth-quarter meltdown. Todd Gurley fell on the goal line for a touchdown when he was trying to avoid scoring late in the game, leaving the Lions time for their last-second win.

Finally, the Falcons displayed the grit Morris seeks when Blidi Wreh-Wilson's late interception preserved a 25-17 win over Carolina on Oct. 29.


The Broncos canceled practice Wednesday after two more players were placed on the NFL's COVID-19/reserve list, including DE Shelby Harris. That brings the number of coronavirus infections/exposures to three players, three assistant coaches, two executives and other staffers at team headquarters over the past few weeks. Also out is RG Graham Glasgow, who will miss his second straight game.


Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley will miss his second straight game with a groin injury. He drew criticism from Morris after using his Twitter account to express his disappointment the team didn't accommodate his request to be traded. McKinley, a first-round pick in 2017, has struggled with injuries since getting a combined 13 sacks in his first two seasons.


The Falcons are averaging 401 yards per game, sixth best in the NFL, but the offense has sputtered too often in the red zone. That was the focus in practice this week.

"Touchdowns," Ryan said. "That's the number one thing. Finding a way to do it. I think that comes with running the football well. I think we've done a pretty good job of that. We have to capitalize in the pass game when we get opportunities."


Although WRs KJ Hamler, Jerry Jeudy and TE Albert Okwuegbunam, all rookies, are getting the publicity, it was third-year pro DaeSean Hamilton who sparked Denver's comeback last week with a key catch on a third down and a 40-yard TD catch-and-run.

"I think the one who might not get talked about enough would be DaeSean coming in and playing a massive game for us," Lock said. "He hasn't really been called on much this year but the reason he's on this team is because he's Mr. Reliable."


Morris says every week the Falcons are playing to be 1-0. This week, 2-0 may be the better goal. The Falcons are playing to win back-to-back games for the first time since closing last season with four straight wins.


AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton in Denver contributed to this report.


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Updated November 5, 2020

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