3 Things for Falcons to win
1. Continue to run the football effectively. Devonta Freeman’s emergence was just what the Falcons needed to get back to their winning ways. Last year’s fourth round draft pick Freeman was slated to back-up this year’s third round draft pick Tevin Coleman until the latter went down with an injury giving Freeman the opportunity to showcase his talents. The second year back leads the league with 645 total yards and 8 TDs in only 3 starts this season. The Falcons traditionally play their best when they take pressure off QB Matt Ryan and lean on the ground game.
2. Julio Jones needs to be on the field for the majority of snaps. Jones has been battling a hamstring injury and the Falcons are playing on a short week but the offense is a lot better when Jones is on the field. Julio doesn’t need to be highly productive but just the threat of him on the field will open up everything. No pitch count for Julio tonight.
3. Get pressure on Drew Brees. The Falcons finally took the initiative this offseason by bringing in players to help them get to the quarterback. They cannot let Brees get comfortable in the pocket and pick them apart, make the Saints offense earn it on every play. Vic Beasley and company needs to be relentless to the QB.
3 Things for Saints to win
1. Block out the outside distractions. The quickest way to derail any team is for players to feed into off-field distractions and the whole Sean Payton potential departure is a distraction. They have to play for themselves and for each other. The Falcons are the better team but the Saints need to focus on their assignments and play smart football.
2. Run the ball with Mark Ingram. CPGM has stressed the importance of giving your bell cow carries and it’s no different for the Saints. Ingram only received 4 carries in the second half of last week’s game which in unacceptable. The organization went in a different direction this offseason by moving Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills to focus more on the running game. But the Saints still aren’t doing a good job with balancing their offense. If they want to win they need to rely on Ingram.
3. Force Leonard Hankerson, Roddy White, and Jacob Tamme to beat you. Pretty much you need to take away Freeman and the running game but also don’t forget about the beast they have on the outside. The complimentary players have to prove their worth, make Ryan rely on them and not the stars.
What to watch for…
Are the Falcons for real? This has all the makings of a trap game. You are playing on a short week on the road against a divisional rival who even though is struggling plays well against you. Show the world you are the favorites and show the world you are for real by beating them thoroughly.
The Front Office Says…
The Atlanta Falcons Win.