Atlanta Falcons: Are they prepared for the Saints?
The Atlanta Falcons sit at 5-0 on the year but have just three days to prepare for the New Orleans Saints. Will they be prepared to play on such short rest?
Like most teams, the Falcons are a little banged up heading into week 6 of the NFL. Julio Jones is playing on an injured right hamstring, Leonard Hankerson is dealing with a rib injury and Mike Person left the game against the Washington Redskins as well.
It’s never easy to play on a Thursday night, especially when the game is not in your home building. The Falcons are entering into a very hostile environment to play the Saints who sit at 1-4 on the year and will be looking to spoil what the Falcons have going.
The Falcons swept the Saints in 2014 and are clearly the better team heading into the match up, but this will be no easy task.
The Saints have a much different look this year. No Jimmy Graham, no Kenny Stills and no defense. The Saints rank dead last in the league in total yards and are relying on guys like Benjamin Watson to catch passes. Who? That’s what I said.
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The Falcons on the other hand have one of the leagues’ most potent offenses and a very stingy defense. The Falcons rank in the top 5 in rushing yards allowed and have done a good job of keeping teams out of the end zone when need be.
Devonta Freeman is playing out of his mind. His eight touchdowns through his first three games as a starter is the most since Shawn Alexander. That’s saying something. Freeman has gone over 100 yards of total offense each of the past three games and narrowly missed 200 total yards against the Redskins (197).
The Saints still have Drew Brees, one of the leagues’ best quarterbacks and one of the best to ever play the game, so there is no way the Falcons will roll into Louisiana expecting an easy win.
In order to beat the Saints, Atlanta needs everyone healthy and ready to go. Jones needs to make a big impact, Hankerson needs to be a complementary receiver and Person needs to be active as well. If the Falcons have everyone active, they should win this game.
The Falcons have already played in two hostile environments this year which is good. Atlanta beat the New York Giants at Metlife Stadium and knocked off the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington. The Falcons are very battle tested heading into this match up so lets see who wants it more.
If the Falcons win, the Saints’ season is virtually over. But, if the Falcons lose, the door is left slightly ajar.
Is this a must win for the Falcons? Not at all. the Falcons would be sitting pretty with a 5-1 record heading into an easy stretch of games while the Carolina Panthers enter into an extremely tough part of their schedule. If the Falcons knock off the Saints it’s just an added bonus.