The NFL is set up with another great week of action on Sunday. Twelve games will be up on the board throughout December 6. One of these games will be between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Atlanta Falcons. These two teams have had opposite starts to the season, but I expect both teams to come out strong in this one. This game will kick off at around 1:00 PM Eastern.
New Orleans has put up a record of 9-2 throughout this season, which has them sitting in first place of the NFC South. The Saints have won eight games in a row after starting out the season 1-2. New Orleans is without Drew Brees, but it has not slowed them down. The Saints will look to put up another strong performance as they play their division rival for the second time in three weeks.
The Falcons have earned a record of 4-7 so far this season, which has them sitting in third place of the NFC South. Atlanta is coming off a dominant win last week and will look to carry that momentum over. The Falcons have struggled at points this season, but have a chance to earn a big win against their division rival on Sunday afternoon.
These two teams are sitting in opposite spots of the NFC South divisional race, but I still expect both teams to come out strong. The Saints were able to dominant the Falcons in the first game of the season series, and they will look to come out with a similar intensity. If Atlanta can carry over momentum from their beatdown on the Las Vegas Raiders, it will give them a chance to pull off another upset.
The Saints and the Falcons met up for the first time this season in Week 11. Younghoe Koo went 3-3 on field goal attempts, but that was all the offense Atlanta could muster. Taysom Hill rushed for two touchdowns, while Alvin Kamara had another rushing touchdown. New Orleans was able to earn a big 24-9 win at home.
New Orleans met up with the Denver Broncos last week. Brandon McManus had a field goal and that was it for the Broncos offense. Latavius Murray had two rushing touchdowns, while Taysom Hill added another two rushing touchdowns. The Saints were able to ride another great defensive performance to a big 31-3 win.
The Falcons faced off against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 12. Daniel Carlson was able to kick two field goals, which was all the Raiders could get on the board. Matt Ryan had two passing touchdowns, while Deion Jones had an interception return for a touchdown. Younghoe Koo went 5-5 on field goals as Atlanta was able to dominate for a big 43-6 win.
These two teams are coming off big wins thanks to their defense. The Saints have held their opponents to 12 points throughout the last two weeks combined. New Orleans defense is heating up and the Falcons will need to step up on offense if they want to earn a win in this one. Atlanta’s offense had a good one last week and will need to find that rhythm early on Sunday.
Taysom Hill is the starting Quarterback for New Orleans with Drew Brees out. Hill has done a solid job stepping up since Brees went down with injury. He has thrown for 397 yards and an interception on the season. Hill has rushed for 279 yards and 5 touchdowns as well. He went 9-16 for 78 yards and an interception in last weeks win over the Broncos.
Matt Ryan is starting under center for the Falcons. Ryan has had a strong season despite his teams lack of success. He has thrown for 3163 yards, 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Ryan has also rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown. Last week Ryan went 22-39 for 185 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception to help Atlanta secure the win.
Atlanta has the edge at Quarterback in this one with Taysom Hill starting for the Saints. Hill has not thrown a passing touchdown yet this season and has struggled to get into a groove at times. If the Falcons can shut down New Orleans’ passing game, it will give them a great opportunity to earn the win on Sunday afternoon. Hill will look to attack the Falcons early to get into a rhythm through the air.
Offense vs Defense
The Saints have been strong on offense throughout this season. New Orleans has been able to score 326 points and gain 4026 yards of offense, which is 4th and 13th in the league this season. The Saints defense has been getting hot as of late. New Orleans has given up 225 points to opposing teams, which is 5th in the NFL. The Saints have also allowed 3134 yards, which is 1st in the league.
Atlanta’s offense has been in the top half of the league so far this season. The Falcons have scored 295 points, which is 11th in the NFL this season. Atlanta has also gained 4123 yards of offense, which is 10th in the league. The Falcons defense has allowed opposing teams to score 281 points and 4309 yards, which is 17th and 27th in the NFL.
This will be a classic matchup of offense vs defense. The Falcons offense has been strong this season, while New Orleans defense has been almost impossible to break through on in the last few weeks. The Saints have given up 28 points throughout the last four weeks in total. If Atlanta’s offense can break through, it will give them the edge. If New Orleans shuts them down, they should be able to win.
New Orleans has not looked as good on offense throughout the last couple of weeks with Drew Brees out. The Saints defense has stepped up in a big way, but with the Falcons coming in off a strong offensive performance, they could break through. Atlanta was beat down by New Orleans a couple of weeks ago and I expect them to come out much quicker in this one.
BetOnline has the Saints listed as a -150 against the money line on Sunday afternoon. This implies that New Orleans will win this game around 60 percent of the time. With this being a divisional game, I agree with this line. I think the Falcons will come out looking better in this one though as they host the Saints. Atlanta has looked much better since switching coaches and I believe they will come out better in this one.