Well it’s finally here, the game I’ve been waiting for since Week 1, but it doesn’t have quite the feel I expected. I figured for a nasty showdown for NFC South supremacy but this is looking more like a desperation game for the Saints.
At 3-5 and with a porous defense, the Saints look ripe for the picking. Which looks worrisome to many Falcon fans in this pivotal week 10 interdivision matchup. Sadly, I don’t think the Falcon fans have much to worry about, because this Falcon team is going to shoot out of the gate and play angry.
Why? well… why not? The Saints are down and out this year, missing their head coach and fielding quite possibly the NFL’s worst statistical defense ever but none of that matters for the boys from Atlanta.
Last year the Saints ran up the score, despite the game being out of reach. Forty five points later Drew Brees set the passing record, and there wasn’t a single uttered word out of the Falcon locker room. Let’s not forget about ‘peeing’ on the Falcon logo midfield either, because there’s no doubt the Falcons remember.
The Saints defense has been flat out awful this year, with zero pass rush ( unless you behind the Eagles offensive line ), poor tackling and horrendous secondary play. They have also allowed a record setting amount of yardage on the ground, giving up 1,412 yards on 266 carries for a robust average of 5.3 YPC.
But that really doesn’t tell the entire story because this defense under Steve Spagnuolo is giving up points at a record pace ( points against – 229, for 28.6 per game ) and allowing at least 400 yards in every game this season.
The Falcons are ranked seventh in scoring (averaging 27.5 points per game) and eighth in total yards (376.6 yards per game). Against a far superior 4th ranked defense in the Cowboys, the Falcons had a 300 yards passing, 2 100 yard receiving performances and over 100 on the ground.
And now, here comes the part where I tell you that most of this data is probably not going to be relevant for this Week 10 matchup. Why? because its the Saints and Falcons! why else?
A Review of the Falcons-Cowboys game.
Simply put, this is the season for the hosting New Orleans Saints. A win would be their fourth in five games and make them a dark horse for the last wildcard spot, a loss means it’s pretty much over at 3-6. Just ask Mike Shanahan.
So on paper the odds don’t look good for the Saints, which is what really worries me. While the Falcons hung 443 on the league’s 4th ranked defense in the Dallas Cowboys, there will be no doubt that Joe Vitt will have the Saints ready to play.
So the Superdome will be a-rockin, the Saints will be a-desperate but that won’t save them against a resurgent Michael Turner and the multi headed passing attack led by Matt Ryan.
Julio Jones and Roddy White shred the Cowboys #4 ranked defense and the pair of Claiborne and Brandon Carr, hauling in 100+ yards apiece. After much of the media focused on the Cowboys corners, and proclaiming they could “shutdown” the Falcon receivers, these Dirty Birds still cannot get a shred of respect.
Which is why they need to win big, which is why I think the Falcons go outside the box and run up the score on the Saints.
If you are watching at home, you should pay attention because this opponent is the only one I can see head coach Mike Smith rolling the score up on.
Also watch for ex-Falcon MLB Curtis Lofton, who didn’t fit in Mike Nolan’s scheme due to his coverage skills, or lack thereof. Lofton has taken liberties and been very outspoken about hating the Falcons, so it will be interesting to see what gameplan the Falcons roll out.
Falcons in a blowout – 45-21, and a 9-0 record.
Here’s to listening to the media pundits on Monday continue to talk about how unimpressive the 9-0 Falcons are.