Originally written on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 9/17/12

In just the second game of the season, the Atlanta Falcons will be on the big stage as they host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Earlier we looked at some keys for a Falcons victory. Now let's take a lap around the interweb and see who everyone is saying will win this battle....

Christopher Owens will need to be more than charming tonight

Picking Broncos:

NFL.com: Broncos 34 Falcons 31

Fantastic matchup, especially if you're like me and you think Ryan's Week 1 performance was a sign of things to come. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos win here, though, because of something that the 36-year-old veteran showed against Pittsburgh: He's adjusting to what he is, rather than trying to be what he was. #DENvsATL

 

CBS Sports: Broncos 37 Falcons 34

Both teams want to dictate the tempo, which in a way will play into each other's hands. The Broncos went to a no-huddle offense in the second quarter of their season opener against Pittsburgh and scored on every subsequent drive that didn't involve kneeling down at the end of a half; QB Matt Ryan the Falcons used their no-huddle against the Chiefs to devastating effect, mounting four drives of at least 70 yards to pull away for a 40-24 win. Both offenses will try and exhaust the opposing defenses and leave them no time for substitutions, which could lead to a shootout that extends past midnight on the East Coast.

 

Inside Pulse

I’m riding the Broncos bandwagon here. Falcons are a great home team, but Manning is great in a dome. It should be a great game, quite possibly the game of the week. I think the Broncos are slightly better than the Falcons, though. My Pick: Broncos 28 (+3), Falcons 27

 

Pro Football Talk:

MDS’s take: The loss of starting cornerback Brent Grimes is a huge blow to the Falcons, and Peyton Manning is the worst quarterback to face for a team trying to adjust to an injury in the secondary: Manning will find places to pick apart the Falcons’ secondary and get a big road win against a good team.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 31, Falcons 28.

Florio’s take:  Last year, Denver’s defense kept games close long enough for the quarterback to do something heroic.  This week, they’ll do the same thing — without having to give up so few points.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 38, Falcons 35.

 

Picking Falcons:

Sporting News: Falcons 38 Broncos 34

In a game full of big plays, whoever makes a few more in the second half will emerge. Look for the red-hot combination of Ryan and Jones to make the different late. Falcons 38, Broncos 34.

 

Nine of the ESPN "experts" are picking the Falcons, while five of them are going for the Broncos. The four guys over at Fox Sports are split on their decision.

 

Looks to me like most are thinking this is going to be a very close game with a  lean towards the Broncos.

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