The unbeaten New England Patriots take on the 1-2 Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in one of Week 4's most anticipated match-ups. The game should be much closer than one might expect if just looking at the records of both teams.
Atlanta has fallen to the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints. The latter is a tough divisional rival -- who is also unbeaten -- and the former is one of the year's early surprises. Atlanta's sole win came against the St. Louis Rams. New England, on the other hand, has bested the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Uncharacteristically, the Patriots narrowly bested the former two teams. They've been known for their high-flying offense for so many years under quarterback Tom Brady, but their play on the field has been more akin to the early days of Bill Belichick's tenure, when the defense kept scoring low and games close. Still, the Patriots have won, and that's all that matters.
It seems the home-field advantage is one of the biggest factors in picking the game. Five of the nine experts for CBS Sports picked the Falcons to win at home, both of Yahoo's experts did the same and 11 of 13 experts at ESPN also picked Atlanta. As far as SB Nation is concerned, four of the five experts picked Atlanta, with the one dissenter being Joel Thorman.