Week 1: Saints vs Falcons
Finally, the practice games are over, the cuts have been made and now it’s time to get down to the real games and the Saints quest for another Super Bowl ring. This week it’s the Falcons (Dirty Birds for those down on the bayou), in another game one match up.
Beaux says it’s about time for Black and Gold Football!!!
Saints Offense vs Falcons Defense
Saints look to have all weapons available and at 100% except for Kenny Stills who is still down with a quad injury that has been bothering him all summer. With the depth the Saints have at the receiver position I don’t think this will hurt them. I’ll be watching the running game to see not only how much it is used but how effective it is. If the Saints are to go turn around their road record and go deep in the playoffs, the running game needs to be more of an equal partner with the passing game.
I have no idea what to expect from the Falcons defense and I don’t know that anyone else does either, they have brought in several players and from scouting reports that I’ve read they are going to use both the 3-4 and 4-3 for their front seven. The good news for the Saints is that both Payton and Brees are usually quick to pick up what the other team is trying to do.
The key for the Saints is to play their ball game and let Atlanta make the adjustments. If the Saints get the running game going and then mix in Cooks, Graham, Colston and company the results should be overwhelming.
Saints Defense vs Falcons Offense.
The premier matchup on this side of the ball is going to be how the defensive backs match up with Atlanta’s wide receivers. White and Jones have been billed as one of the premier wide receiver duo’s in the NFL, in my mind what has put them there was that teams always had to account for Tony Gonzalez. Now that he’s retired unless the Falcons can replace his contribution at tight end the Saints defensive backs will be able to concentrate even more on White and Jones.
The other problem the Falcons will have is the Saints pass rush, if the interior of the line shuts down the run and Jordan and Galette are able to cut loose and go after Ryan, the Falcons could be in for a long afternoon.
The final thing to watch for will be if the Saints can get some turnovers. The focus this off season has been for the defense to come up with turnovers, that’s one of the main reasons the push for a ball hawk like Byrd was made.
Shoud be an interesting game, even though most of the NFL world has the Saints picked to win on Sunday, the thing to remember is that this is still and NFC South game between bitter rivals and the game is being played in Atlanta. Should be interesting but I’m going with the Saints 31-17
Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab
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