The Atlanta Falcons keep their NFL playoff hopes alive with a Week 12 victory at home
The Atlanta Falcons came into Sunday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders without running back Todd Gurley and wide receiver Julio Jones. Atlanta has surprisingly struggled this season, but they are starting to turn it around when it counts.
Meanwhile, the Raiders' playoff hopes are slowly dwindling. Las Vegas has dropped back-to-back games. Both the Falcons and the Raiders have five takeaways to take into next week.
5) Penalties killed the Las Vegas Raiders in NFL Week 12
In week 12, the Las Vegas Raiders set a new season-high for penalties in a single game. The team committed 11 penalties on Sunday against the Falcons. These 11 penalties totaled up to 141 yards and killed any momentum the Raiders hoped to build.
The Raiders defense accounted for 101 penalty yards on Sunday while the offense accounted for the other 40 yards. Las Vegas' defense has been the team's kryptonite because these penalties are costly, as it's hard to win when you keep giving up so many free yards.
4) Atlanta Falcons defense showed up in NFL Week 12
The Atlanta Falcons defense showed up in a big way on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Falcons would force the Raiders into five turnovers. Atlanta's defense would force four fumbles and an interception.
The Falcons came into this game with the 31st ranked passing defense in the NFL. But what helped the Falcons on Sunday is their 6th-ranked rush defense. The pass rush also made life tough for quarterback Derek Carr. The Falcons scored on the defensive side of the ball, as they returned an interception for a touchdown. It's fair to say that the game ball should've went to the Falcons defense.
3) Derek Carr had a rough game in NFL Week 12
Derek Carr has put together a great 2020 NFL season. Before the Week 11 meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs, Derek Carr had not thrown an interception in three weeks. But this streak ended against the Chiefs, and Carr's slide continued in Atlanta.
Carr was rattled by the Atlanta Falcons defense, and he committed four of the five turnovers for the Las Vegas Raiders. Carr fumbled the football three times on Sunday, and he made another crushing mistake when he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. If the Raiders want to make the playoffs, they need Carr to cut down on these giveaways.
2) The Atlanta Falcons are making an NFL playoff push
The Atlanta Falcons have won three out of the last four games. After starting the season 0-5, the Falcons are now just two games back in the Wild Card. Though Falcons have been struggling with injuries to their top wide receiver, Julio Jones, they seem to be weathering the storm.
Going into the game on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders, they would be without two important pieces to their offense. They had to play without both Todd Gurley and Jones in NFL week 12. This adversity tested the Falcons' depth, and they persevered. Their continued perseverance has kept the Falcons in the hunt for the 2020 NFL playoffs.
1) The Las Vegas Raiders could be in trouble
The Las Vegas Raiders cannot afford to lose football games that they are favored to win. The next five games are going to make or break their season. Specifically, two of these games are noteworthy the Raiders' prospects. Both games will be at home, but they are against teams ahead of them in the NFL playoff race.
The Raiders still have games against the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins. These contests are pivotal games if the Raiders want to make the NFL playoffs. As of this writing, the Las Vegas Raiders are ninth in the AFC playoff race. The Ravens are a game ahead of them, but that could change after Baltimore's next game.
If the Ravens lose to the Steelers, the Raiders could climb up to eighth in the conference. Still the Dolphins are currently sitting at number six, with the Colts just behind them at number seven. The Raiders need to win the games against the Jets and Chargers before they should about Miami and Indianapolis.Published 30 Nov 2020, 23:08 IST