Tha Sports Junkies 101

Falcons Overpowered Saints In Monday Night Showdown

Erik Drost via WikiMedia


The Atlanta Falcons travel to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome on Monday night to face the New Orleans Saints in a divisional match-up that is hugely important to the fortunes of both teams. Sitting at 1-1, the Falcons need a victory to keep confidence high before a hugely challenging triplet of games against the Panthers, Broncos and Seahawks. After disappointing losses to the Raiders and Giants, the Saints can’t afford to fall to 0-3 if they have any aspirations of playing in the postseason in January.

Since Sean Payton and Drew Brees moved to New Orleans they have had the Falcons’ number. Even when the Falcons went 13-3 in 2012, eventually losing in the NFC Championship game after an 8-0 start to the season, they couldn’t do better than splitting with the Saints. If the Falcons want to make the playoffs then they need to start winning in the division, having gone 1-5 last year.

Falcons News

Having only registered one sack (which was as a result of forcing the quarterback out of play) through the first two games, the Falcons made the move to bring back O’Brien Schofield, who took part in all 16 games for the team last season. While he only registered 2 sacks in that time, he brings experience and veteran leadership to a young group and Dan Quinn will be hoping that his energy and passion is contagious.

In terms of the injury report, athletic rookie linebacker De’Vondre Campbell has been ruled out for a second week in a row. Three-time leading tackler Paul Worrilow, who has been in a backup role to begin the season due to the emergence of Deion Jones, was placed on injured reserve this week.

The main concern for the Falcons is the availability of Julio Jones. One of the most important playmakers in the league, Jones was limited in practice on Saturday because of a calf injury. While he does spend a lot of time banged up, he has proven his toughness time and time again and will likely play. Whether he’s 100% or not is another matter, but he has shown before that he will still cause problems for defenders even if he’s limited.

On the plus side for Atlanta, Keanu Neal, this year’s 1st round pick and presumptive starting strong safety, practiced in full on Saturday and it will be good to see him play in a regular season game, even if Kemal Ishmael has performed admirably in his place.

Saints News

The Saints defense played well last week against the Giants but there’s no denying that they are one of the worst units in the league. Things will be made considerably more difficult by the absence of starting cornerbacks Delvin Breaux and PJ Williams, both of whom have been ruled out by injury.

The Saints pride themselves on their offense. The team goes as Drew Brees goes. With that in mind, the news that starting left tackle Terron Armstead is going to miss the game with a knee injury is a real blow. While the Falcons defense has struggled to create pressure, the quarterback needs to ensure that his blindside is well protected; losing Armstead puts that in jeopardy. They will also be hoping that Willie Snead can pull through and play in what is likely to be a game-time decision.


For the third week in a row, the Falcons are likely to be in a shootout. Both teams can put up points and neither are great at preventing them. While the Saints have proven that they have the recipe to defeat the Falcons in recent years, the loss of their starting cornerbacks and starting left tackle should give the Falcons every opportunity to come away with the victory and improve to 2-1.