Rise Up: Deep South Rivalry - Falcons vs. Saints
I HATE the New Orleans Saints and I will not capitalize anything having to do with them. I felt like I needed to clarify that before I discussed the upcoming game between my Falcons and the saints. Twice a year these two teams meet to battle it out for the rights to brag about being the better team. Quick history lesson, the Falcons and the saints were born a year apart and were the first two teams to represent the Deep South, hence the rivalry. Last season my Falcons went 0-2 against the saints, and I’m hoping that changes this year.
Let’s go ahead and get the obvious out of the way, this is not a rivalry game between two dominant teams. The saints are 0-2, and lost both of their games by a combined 4 points. The Falcons are 1-1 after beating the Raiders last week. I’ll say this now, this game will be an offensive shootout, because neither of these teams have reliable defenses. Here’s what to watch for:
1. Atlanta’s TE Trio, well really duo because let’s be honest Toilolo probably won’t be much help on Monday. Tamme has been putting up some nice numbers; he leads the Falcons with 11 catches, 126 yards and a TD. Austin Hooper, rookie from Stanford, has also been a contributing factor on the offense with 3 catches for 84 yards last week against Oakland. Not only will the Saints have to focus on containing Julio, Sanu, Freeman (maybe) and Coleman they now also have to concern themselves with Tamme and Hooper. This could be a major advantage for Atlanta.
2. I mean I say this every week, but our defense is not good. I won’t say trash because there are a few glimmers of hope, but the inconsistency won’t allow me to say we’re good. If you’ve been watching drew brees (no caps because I’m petty) and them these past two weeks you’ll know that they haven’t been having success using their rush game at all. If they are smart they will take advantage of our 25th rushing defense and keep that ball on the ground. Personally I’m hoping they’re stupid.
3. Last, but certainly not least the saints will have to play against a much-improved Falcons OL. Every week, and yes I know this is only week 3, but every week I see Mack and the rest of the OL protecting Matt, allowing him time to read his options. This could also allow Freeman and Coleman to go off and make some great plays against a just ok saints defense.
At the end of the day, this game will boil down to which offense gets into the end zone the most. If Shanahan is smart, and I don’t think he is, he will continue the no huddle offense that won us the game last week. Hopefully our defense shows up and gets a few picks, a couple of sacks, or at the very least actually make some tackles. We know the saints will be playing extra hard, not only because this is a rivalry game, but this game is also the 10-year anniversary of their return to the superdome after Katrina. So Atlanta will need to play smart and fast.
Prediction: I have to go with my Falcons winning 30-27. RISE UP!!!!!