Atlanta is one game behind the Saints and in a three-way tie with Chicago and Detroit for the two wild-card spots. The Falcons have won five of six, their only loss in that stretch coming by a 26-23 score in overtime against NFC South-leading New Orleans on Nov. 13. Join us for Free Picks and NFL Picks for week 13.
After a somewhat slow start in 2011, Falcons QB Matt Ryan was red hot in November (64.8%, 1,204 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs, 106.7 rating). He’s also gotten WR Roddy White heavily involved the past two games (17 rec., 267 yards). Atlanta’s offense will need to click on all cylinders Sunday — that also means effective running from RB Michael Turner — against the Texans’ top-ranked defense, which may have to kick it up a notch further if the offense is slow to get situated behind Yates.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Houston LB Connor Barwin had career-high four sacks against Jacksonville last week; leads team with 8½. … Falcons CB Dunta Robinson was first-round pick by Texans in 2004 and spent his first six seasons with them. … Houston’s 14 rushing touchdowns is tied for first in AFC. … Atlanta QB Matt Ryan has won five straight against AFC opponents. … Texans only team in NFL with two running backs with at least 700 yards rushing each. Arian Foster has 805, Ben Tate has 712. … Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez needs one reception to set NFL record with 13 straight seasons of at least 60 catches. … Houston’s defense tops NFL with 268.4 yards allowed per game. … Falcons RB Michael Turner has 47 rushing touchdowns with Atlanta since 2008. … Texans need three sacks to set franchise record for sacks in season with 38. … Atlanta WR Roddy White has 64 receptions for 830 yards and four touchdowns. … Houston’s record is best mark in franchise history through 11 games. Join is for our NFL Picks daily plus UFC Picks and Horse Racing Picks.