We have an NFC South matchup to consider for Sunday when the 3-6 Atlanta Falcons meet the 7-2 New Orleans Saints. Atlanta enters this matchup riding a two-game winning streak and New Orleans enters this matchup riding a six-game winning streak but lost Pro-Bowl quarterback Drew Brees for the season in their 27-13 win over San Francisco.
Falcons Two Game Winning StreakThe Falcons seem to have found their way and have won three of their last five games including a two-game winning streak entering Sunday’s play. They’ve allowed 44 points over those two wins and that is five points better than its 27.5 point season average. They now face an ailing Saints team and have a road record of 2-2 this season.
Matt Ryan has thrown for 2746 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. His main targets are Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones who’ve combined for 1295 yards and nine touchdowns. Ridley is listed as questionable for Sunday and they face a Saints defense allowing 250 passing yards per game and allowed 232 yards last week to the 49ers.
Todd Gurley leads the Falcons ground game with 584 yards and nine touchdowns on 159 attempts. Brian Hill also has good numbers with 243 yards and a touchdown. They face a Saints defense allowing 76.8 yards per contest and just 49 rushing yards last week to San Francisco.
The Falcons defense has allowed 67 points over their last three games and that is much better than its season average. Atlanta has registered 14 sacks with seven interceptions this season and faces a Saints offense that has allowed just 13 sacks with three interceptions this season.
A full injury report can be found HERE.
Brees Lost for SeasonThe Saints have been cruising along and last week took a big hit when Drew Brees was lost for the season. The perennial Pro-Bowler had thrown for 2196 yards with 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions this season. The Saints haven’t named a starter yet but will be resting their hopes on either Taysom Hill or former Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston.
Winston started the second half and threw for 63 yards without a touchdown or an interception. Last season Winston threw for 5019 yards with 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions and 88 interceptions over his six seasons in Tampa Bay. Hill also took snaps and rushed for 45 yards on eight attempts. Alvin Kamara is the leading receiver and Michael Thomas has returned and they face a Falcons passing defense allowing 322 passing yards per contest and 302 passing yards two weeks ago to Denver.
Kamara is the Saints leading rusher with 486 yards and seven touchdowns. Running back Latavious Murray has 378 yards with two touchdowns and faces a Falcons defense allowing 99.7 rushing yards and 103 yards to Denver two weeks ago.
The Saints defense is solid, allowing 23.7 points and a fifth-best 308 total yards of offense per contest. The Saints have 24 sacks and will cause all sorts of trouble as Ryan has been sacked 19 times this season.
Stats & Trends
- Falcons are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games in Week 11.
- Falcons are 6-20 ATS in their last 26 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Falcons are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.
- Saints are 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game.
- Saints are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
New Orleans is a five-point home favorite and they should be because they are five points better than Atlanta with or without Brees. The Saints defense is going to step up in a big way and that is going to cause the Falcons all sorts of trouble. Winston is the real deal and if he can keep from throwing interceptions and forcing plays, he will be more than effective against the Falcons. This should be a good, back and forth game but I’m laying the points and taking the Saints to cover the spread in this contest.