In a great win by the Atlanta Falcons over the Saints, there are several teams who really made the difference in the game. Here are the Falcons players who played the best and earned their wings in the process:
Strong Safety William Moore: William Moore was nothing short of outstanding against the Saints on Thursday night. He had 11 tackles, 9 of them solo tackles, and 2 tackles for loss. But most importantly, Moore had two interceptions that helped keep the game in the Falcons favor, as well as essentially sealing the game for Atlanta. Moore was a physical presence, and a ball hawk of the highest order on Thursday, and is an absolutely shoe-in for the Pro Bowl, especially after that performance against a very good quarterback like Drew Brees.
Free Safety Thomas DeCoud: DeCoud had nearly as good a day as Moore. He had 7 solo tackles, a pass deflected, and an interception. Had he not made the interception, it would have given the Saints a touchdown, and tied the game at 7 early. Luckily, he made the play, and allowed the Falcons offense to get back on the field. It was a major play for the Falcons, and a great way to ensure that they stayed ahead. DeCoud also continued to solidify his Pro Bowl hopes.
Cornerbacks Robert McClain & Chris Owens: McClain and Owens filled in when regular starting CB Asante Samuel came off they field. Owens took over for Samuel and did an absolute jam-up job. He played exceedingly well, batting down a pair of passes, including three tackles. It is fantastic to see such great play from a guy who has been derided for the past two seasons in an Atlanta uniform. He has really bounced back, and has truly adjusted to the NFL game, and could one day soon play a big role at corner for the Atlanta Falcons. Robert McClain is with his third team in three years in the NFL, and it’s certainly safe to say that he’s making the most of the opportunities he’s getting. McClain did a very good job locking down the nickel corner position. He could prove to be an exceedingly valuable pickup for this Falcons team.
Defensive end John Abraham: The Predator was at it again in the Georgia Dome. He had the Falcons lone sack of the game, and while he only had two total tackles, he still had a great day. He consistently pressured Brees, even if he didn’t get to him, and was able to force Brees into inaccurate and premature throws. He also batted down two passes at the line of scrimmage, a huge thing that helped keep the Saints from moving the chains and ultimately out of the endzone.
DE Kroy Biermann: Biermann had been splitting time with Ray Edwards at the beginning of the season, but as time wore on, he began getting more playing time. He might just be playing better than ever. Biermann didn’t record a sack, but did get his hands on Brees several times, and registered 2 hits on the quarterback. His play made Brees shift around more than normal in the pocket and get off the spot that he wanted to throw from. Biermann may not be putting up massive numbers, but he certainly earned his wings.