The New England Patriots host the Atlanta Falcons in a Week 7 NFL matchup. It’s also a rematch of the 2017 Super Bowl; with quarterbacks Tom Brady and Matt Ryan looking to get their respective teams some midseason momentum. The NFL schedule was set up so that this game would be a marquee matchup in Week 7, with NBC providing the television coverage for “Sunday Night Football.”

Though the game doesn’t take place until Sunday (Oct. 17) it’s never too early for the NFL experts to lay out their picks and predictions for it. According to the ESPN Matchup Predictor, the New England Patriots have a 68.8 percent chance of winning this game.

The oddsmakers are also favoring the Patriots by a spread of three-and-a-half points over the Atlanta Falcons. As for the over/under line, Vegas has it at 55, suggesting a high scoring affair.

Breaking down the stats

Tom Brady and the Patriots offense continue to rack up the stats during the 2017 NFL season. The team is averaging 428.7 total yards per game, including an astounding 326.5 yards per game through the air. This has led to 1,959 passing yards for Brady through just the first six games of the season. Add in his 13 passing touchdowns and just two interceptions and he is clearly on the path to win another MVP. That included a big game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Thursday night football where Brady passed for 303 yards in the win.

The Falcons offense relies more on a balanced attack, averaging 271.4 passing yards and 120.6 rushing yards per game. Running back Devonta Freeman has 353 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while Matt Ryan has 1,357 passing yards and six touchdowns. Ryan has six interceptions, though, hurting his quarterback rating just a bit.

Brady’s favorite target this season has been the newly-acquired Brandin Cooks, who has 472 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 24 catches. As for Ryan, he still has All-Pro receiver Julio Jones, who has 25 catches for 367 yards this season. Jones has not made it to the end zone this year.

Outlook from the NFL experts

While a majority of the “talking heads” are siding with the New England Patriots in Week 7 that is not the case for John Breech at CBS Sports.

While admitting that he “hate[s] picking against the Patriots at home in a prime-time game” he still went with the Atlanta Falcons by the score of 34-31. He thinks that the revenge factor will be very high for the Falcons after the team blew the Super Bowl last season. As for the rest of the NFL experts at CBS Sports, they haven’t released their Week 7 predictions just yet. In comparison, Sporting News writer David Steele predicts a 34-28 victory for the Patriots.

Game time for the Patriots vs. Falcons is 8:30 PM ET on Sunday (Oct. 22). The Patriots come into this game with a 4-2 record and first place in the AFC East. The Falcons are 3-2 and need a win, as Cam Newton has the Carolina Panthers playing very well in the NFC South again.

While it’s only Week 7 of the 2017 NFL season, the prelude to this game makes it feel extremely important. The winner will certainly get a boost and that is an important aspect of a midseason victory. It’s also possible that this could be a preview for another New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl in a few months.