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NFL Week 4 upset picks: How Titans beat the Falcons

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown six interceptions already this season. Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Recency bias is a general human problem, but it especially plagues sports fans. We often overrate a big win or loss in the most recent weekend and prioritize that over all our prior knowledge of a team -- both the season to date and what we knew coming into the season.

The Tennessee Titans did not look good in losing to Jacksonville last Thursday night, but their most recent game is not their only game. All the data we have suggests that the Titans are not a great team, but they're a little better than the team they play on Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons.


Upset Watch: Tennessee Titans (+4) at Atlanta Falcons

Both Tennessee and Atlanta are 1-2 on the year, but Tennessee has been the superior team on a per-play basis. Right now Tennessee is 13th in Football Outsiders' DVOA ratings, while Atlanta is 22nd. And going into the year, we also had Tennessee as the better team; the Titans were 12th in our preseason forecast, while Atlanta was 18th.