NFL Sunday Preview: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints [Birds are a Live Dog]

NFL Nov 22, 2020

The Atlanta Falcons take on the New Orleans Saints in what is sure to be a fun divisional Sunday Night Football match up.  The Falcons have been surging, while the Saints are set to be without their future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees.

Those storylines make  a nice backdrop for a fun game.

Falcons keeps surging in win over Broncos

In their last game, the Atlanta Falcons were able to defeat the Denver Broncos 34-27.  Matt Ryan went 25-of-35 on the afternoon, throwing for 284 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.  Running back Todd Gurley has truly begun to find his groove again this season, and that showed on Sunday.  He carried the ball 19 times for 53 yards and a touchdown.

Normally in the Falcons passing game, Julio Jones would be the one to carry the team for the afternoon.  However, this time it was Olamide Zaccheaus who did the honours.  He caught four passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, averaging a little over 25 yards per reception.  Those performances were just enough to take down a  young Broncos team.

For a surging Falcons team looking to make a playoff push, this was exactly the type of performance they needed.


Saints win despite facing adversity

In the meantime, the New Orleans Saints were able to win against the San Francisco 49ers by a 27-13 score.  Drew Brees led the Saints in passing, but it did not come without a price.  He suffered several serious injuries, likely missing multiple weeks, and was replaced by former Bucs starter James Winston.  Winston performed decently in his place, going 6-of-10 on the afternoon.

The running game was the story for New Orleans.  Latavius Murray led all running backs in terms of yards with nine carries for 57 yards.  In the meantime, Alvin Kamara got it done both on the ground and through the air.  He carried the ball eight times for 15 yards and two touchdowns, while also recording seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.  He was a versatile player, and exactly what the New Orleans Saints needed.

Photo Credit: USA Today/Saints Wire

The Saints win if….

The New Orleans Saints win if they establish the running game at a consistent level.  Alvin Kamara has shown to be a tremendous playmaker year in and year out.  With really is out of the picture, I could see the Saints shifting their focus to the running attack.

The Falcons win if….

The Atlanta Falcons win this game if they get all their weapons involved.  That starts from the running backs to the wide receivers.  The Falcons did that last week and have done it more so over the past couple of games.  In order to beat New Orleans, they need to have everybody in a rhythm.  As long as they get everybody involved, they have a shot.

Betting prediction

The Falcons are the underdogs with the spread trending down to +5.  I feel comfortable betting my money on them based on the quarterback situation in New Orleans.

Betting Atlanta plus the points.

Note:  Hill will reportedly start in place of Winston for the Saints.

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