Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints: Full game preview

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Dec 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws the ball prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

What to watch

Can the Falcons slow down Drew Brees?

Drew Brees may not be as dominant as he once was, but he’s still a very efficient passer who always gives his team a chance. To win, the Falcons will need to find a way of slowing him down.

The pass rush needs to generate consistent pressure, and the coverage needs to be tight throughout the game. Finding a way to keep Brees quiet is key to winning.

Will Devonta Freeman dominate again?

The Saints haven’t been able to stop the run this season. As it happens, the Falcons have fared pretty well running the football. Expect to see a heavy dose of Devonta Freeman, who could have his best game yet.

Running the ball effectively will wear down the defense, control the clock and help keep the banged up receivers fresh.

Are the Falcons receivers healthy?

Speaking of those receivers, how comfortable do they look? Julio Jones was visibly struggling against Washington last Sunday, and Leonard Hankerson was quiet after suffering a ribs injury.

Are they anywhere near 100 percent? How effective Jones and Hankerson are will go a long way to determining the winner of this game.

Next: Who to watch?