Welcome everyone to the latest Saints preview! This week, we look into the Monday night matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
Last Week: The Saints dropped to 0-2 behind a lackluster offense and a game winning field goal by the New York Giants to make it 16-13. Meanwhile the Atlanta Falcons went back and forth against the Oakland Raiders in a shootout, but improved to 1-1 with a 35-28 victory.
Last Meeting: The Saints took down the Falcons in both of their regular season meetings with their last matchup in January winning 20-17. The Falcons have the edge in the series 49-45, but it has shifted more towards the Saints with them winning seven of the last ten meetings.
What to Watch For:
Playing with Passion: Heading into this game, the Saints will be playing with passion on Monday night for several reasons. The biggest reason has to be the ten year anniversary of what has been called the rebirth game. It’s going to be a very loud crowd because they are playing against long-time NFC South rival Atlanta and the crowd will be almost as passionate as they were on that September night when Steve Gleason blocked a punt in the endzone which was recovered for a touchdown by the Saints. It was a moment that Saints fans everywhere will remember for a long time.
Poor Defense Means Potential Shootout: Many fans expected last week’s meeting between the Saints and Giants to be a high-scoring affair. Those fans will most likely get just that on Sunday as both defenses are toward the bottom of the league. Also, when you have Matt Ryan and Drew Brees leading the attack a shootout is to be expected. Yes, Brees had a very subpar game with only 263 yards through the air last week, but the Giants defense has vastly improved from last year.
Could the Saints Have a Run Game? The Saints run game has been virtually nonexistent through two weeks. Last week was a perfect example as they only had 41 yards on 13 carries. It doesn’t look good considering how much that’s handcuffing this team to having Drew Brees throw the ball nine times out of ten. Based off of last week’s performance against the Raiders run game, they looked lackluster allowing 155 yards on the afternoon. The Saints might need to capitalize on this part of the Falcons defense if they want to keep things interesting on Monday.
The Saints Will Win If:
If the Saints can hold Matty Ice to under 300 yards on Monday, the Saints can finally get a win. This is easier said than done with the lack of experience in the secondary with another injury after PJ Williams got hit hard in the back of the helmet last Sunday. The secondary could be having a hard time with some of the bigger wideouts like Sanu or Jones.
The Falcons Will Win If:
The Falcons will win if they can tear down this young secondary. The performance from the Saints secondary has been poor and if they have another injury, the Falcons can get to 2-1 easily.