Saints vs. Falcons Thursday Night Football

saints vs falconsThursday night will put the 8-2 New Orleans Saints will travel to Atlanta to face the 2-8 Falcons. The Saints are coming off a 23-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The Falcons are coming off a 41-28 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

 

At quarterback the Saints are lead by Drew Brees. Brees has completed 277 of 406 passes for 3369 yards, 26 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions. Their leading rusher is Pierre Thomas. He has rushed for 413 yards on 107 carries and 1 touchdown. Brees’ favorite receiving targets are Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston. Graham has caught 60 of 92 passes thrown his way for 846 yards and 10 touchdowns. Colston has caught 39 of 55 passes thrown his way for 529 yards and 2 touchdowns. On defense the Saints are lead by Cameron Jordan and Keenan Lewis. They have a combined 53 tackles, 7 sacks (all by Jordan), and 3 interceptions (all by Lewis).

The Falcons are lead at quarterback by Matt Ryan. Ryan has completed 267 of 404 passes for 2868 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Their leading rusher is Jacquizz Rodgers. He has rushed for 273 yards on 76 carries and 2 touchdowns. Matt Ryan’s favorite receiving targets are Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez. Douglas has caught 51 of 75 passes thrown his way for 754 yards and 2 touchdowns. Gonzalez has caught 54 of 78 passes thrown his way for 568 yards and 4 touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball the Falcons are lead by Robert Alford and Osi Umenyiora. They have a combined 50 tackles, 6.5 sacks (all by Umenyiora), and 3 interceptions.

 

Keys To The Game

For New Orleans

1. Can they slow down Harry Douglas? He is averaging 14.8 yards per catch this season.
2. Can the offensive line block Osi Umenyiora? He has 6.5 sacks and had 2 sacks in the last game.
3. Can Cameron Jordan keep getting sacks?

For Atlanta

1. Can they end the losing streak? They have lost 4 straight games.
2. Can they slow down Kenny Stills? He is averaging 22.4 yards per catch this season and also has 4 touchdowns.
3. Can they slow down Drew Brees? He is throwing for an average of 321 yards per game this season.

 

My Prediction

The Saints score first on a touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham from Drew Brees on their opening drive. The Saints then get the ball back and score a touchdown on a 8 yard run from Pierre Thomas. When the Falcons get the ball back they drive down the field but only manage to get a field goal. In the 2nd quarter the Saints add a field goal to increase their lead to 14. The Saints defense stops the Falcons offense on their next drive and get the ball back with 3 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. They then drive down the field and score a touchdown with 45 seconds left in the quarter to take a 24-3 lead. The Falcons run out the clock and the score going into halftime is 24-3. The 3rd quarter starts with a touchdown for the Falcons on a 20 yard pass from Matt Ryan to Tony Gonzalez. The Saints answer back with a touchdown pass of their own to increase their lead to 31-10. The Falcons get another field goal and the score going into the 4th quarter is 31-13. In the 4th quarter the Falcons get a touchdown to close the gap to 31-20 but the Saints answer back again and score a touchdown of their own to make the score 38-20. The Falcons would get another field goal to cut the lead to 38-23. But the Saints hold onto the ball and run out the clock to secure the victory.

Final Score

Saints: 38
Falcons: 23

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