Falcons 50: Atlanta Falcons’ Biggest 2015 Games #1


Today we continue the “Falcons 50” countdown to the Atlanta Falcons’ first game of 2015. We move on our list of the Falcons’ biggest games this year, moving onto No. 1.

You can find the full list of “Falcons 50” posts here.

Over the past five days, we have been counting down the Atlanta Falcons’ biggest games of 2015. We now move onto the biggest game of the season, and we have to look all the way to the regular season finale in Week 17.

Falcons’ biggest 2015 games #1 – vs New Orleans, Week 17

Yes, the Falcons’ biggest game of the season comes against divisional rivals, the New Orleans Saints. Maybe this will be a NFC South-deciding game.

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Four of Atlanta’s final five games are against division opponents, and the final two are at home (the other is Carolina in Week 16). To reach the playoffs, there is every chance the Falcons will need to win this one.

Last year, the Falcons secured a season sweep over the Saints for the first time since 2005. Repeating this feat would be crucial in what is set to be a tight playoff battle in the ‘South.

So what can we expect from the 2015 Saints?

After the major disappointment that was the 2014 season, New Orleans will be desperate to bounce back quickly and return to their Super Bowl status.

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Drew Brees was tied for No. 1 in passing yards with Ben Roethlisberger, but he didn’t look like the same elite signal caller we’ve witnessed time and again in Atlanta.

Brees looked more mistake prone than before and showed potential signs of decline understandable for a player at 36 years old.

Will this slide continue or will Brees return to his best? Let’s not carried away though, he was far from poor last season and his ‘decline’ was blown a little out of proportion. The face of the New Orleans Saints is still a heckuva football player and will have a strong season even sans Jimmy Graham.

Dec 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackles Corey Peters (91) and Tyson Jackson (99) during the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Nonetheless, a revamped pass rush needs to put up Brees under constant pressure and force errors. New head coach Dan Quinn will be determined to be aggressive and do just that.

Last year, a Week 17 loss left Atlanta at home while Carolina punched their ticket to the postseason and made it all the way to the Divisional Round in Seattle. It’s entirely possible the same fate awaits the winner and loser of this contest.

The NFC South battle will run all the way through December with so many key divisional contests played between each team.

What’s important for Atlanta is to take care of the divisional games, especially at home.

Drew Brees and the Saints received a severe wake up call from the Falcons last year and they will be desperate to right some wrongs from 2014.

The Saints could themselves secure a playoff berth with a victory at the Georgia Dome.

There a number of big games on the Atlanta Falcons schedule this year, but for me, the Week 17 clash with New Orleans sits atop the list.

What do you think, Falcons fans? What do you think is the biggest game of the season? Be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts.

That concludes the first mini-series of “Falcons 50”. Stay tuned tomorrow as staff writer Kevin Knight takes us through the next ten days focusing heavily on Matt Ryan.