Thursday’s Matchup

The NFL Network hype wagon pulls into Atlanta, and not a moment too soon. If any teams deserve the spotlight to themselves and some extra ink, it’s these two. The Falcons and the Ravens have everything a fan could ask for: winning records, electrifying offensive stars like Roddy White and Ray Rice, still-productive probable Hall of Famers like Ray Lewis and Tony Gonzalez, solid rosters, creative and capable coaches. Quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, meeting for the first time, emphasize substance over style: they have developed steadily since their selections in the first round of the 2008 draft, winning games by playing within their systems, taking what the defense gives them.

What these teams lack is that reality television, ”Behind the Music,” overdramatized sizzle that makes teams like the Cowboys and the Vikings so compelling. After a week of Wade watching, we need a little more tackling and a lot less intrigue. Pick: Falcons. MIKE TANIER

GRAPHICS: Baltimore Ravens (6-2) at Atlanta Falcons (6-2) 8 p.m., NFL Network Line: Falcons by 1

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.