In order to get the best insight into this marquee matchup, we went to the guys who eat, sleep and breathe Broncos and Falcons football.
We asked Troy Hufford of Broncos blog “Mile High Report” and Dave Choate from Falcons blog “The Falcoholic” to debate which team will not only win but cover the spread Monday night.
THREE REASONS WHY DENVER WILL COVER
Troy Hufford writes for Mile High Report. You can follow them on Twitter @MileHighReport.
Manning looks like his former self
Against the Steelers, Manning showed that he can still be a technician and pick apart defenses. For the Broncos, quarterback was really the last piece of the puzzle. With Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas already showing that they can be successful receivers under the likes of Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow, the sky is the limit with Manning as signal caller.
Porter finally fills the second CB slot
I think the development that most Broncos fans are excited about is the emergence of Tracy Porter. With his interception for a touchdown against the Steelers, as well as his five pass defenses, Tracy Porter is already almost halfway to Andre Goodman's 2011 total. The Broncos secondary has always featured some variation of Champ Bailey and "some guy on the other side". But in 2012, the Broncos have someone that could really challenge offenses to throw at Champ Bailey.
Pass rush as deadly as ever
The Broncos led the NFL in sacks in Week 1 with five. Von Miller is considered by many to be one of the best defenders in the league. Elvis Dumervil is still dangerous off the edge, as well, and something new that the league needs to watch out for is a man by the name of Derek Wolfe. Wolfe is a rookie defensive tackle out of the University of Cincinnati. He was the first Bronco to record a sack against the Steelers. The Broncos should have little trouble pressuring Matt Ryan.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Denver 35, Atlanta 31
I think this will be a high-scoring game because both teams are likely to use a lot of no-huddle. I think this game will go back and forth, but ultimately, the experience of Peyton Manning will prevail. The Broncos defense won't have to put up a dominant performance but if they can force a few turnovers, that's all Manning and the Broncos offense will need to steal a win on the road.
THREE REASONS WHY ATLANTA WILL COVER
Dave Choate is the editor-in-chief at The Falcoholic. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheFalcoholic.
Falcons will let it fly
The Falcons’ passing game is deadly. Yeah, we all know Champ Bailey is one of the finest cornerbacks of his generation, but the Falcons have so many weapons that it's virtually impossible to cover all of them. They'll put points on the board.
Get pressure on Peyton
The pass rush is improved over a year ago, with new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan mixing in a lot of looks. If that pays off in pressure on Peyton Manning -and I expect it will - that should give the Falcons a huge edge.
Extra special teams
They'll win the special teams battle. Matt Bryant is one of the most reliable legs in the league and punter Matt Bosher is excellent at pinning opposing teams deep in their own territory. Add in deadly returner Jacquizz Rodgers and the Falcons should be ready to go.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Atlanta 38, Denver 35
I see this one being close until the very end, because the Denver Broncos are a terrific football team and matchup quite well with the Falcons. But I think the Falcons have enough firepower and just enough defense to pull ahead in the fourth quarter with a field goal from Bryant and stay there.