Jeff Schultz of the AJC predicts that the Saints will win by 10.
Falcons at Saints: The problem isn’t just that Matt Ryan has looked ordinary the last two weeks, or that Michael Turner has looked ordinary all season. The problem is that what the Saints do best (pass) exposes what the Falcons can’t do at all (stop the pass). The Birds will be fine — until Drew Brees gets out of his car. Saints cover 10.
In other words, the Falcons don’t have a chance. On paper I would agree. ATL has not been able to get a running game started, the defense is injured and maligned, and the Saints have been just about perfect. Ah, but this is a rivalry game, and I think (hope) the Falcons have something to prove after getting thrashed in Dallas.
Peter King of SI predicts a 23-20 Saints win, which while very respectable for the Falcons, means that the Saints would not cover the line (New Orleans is giving up 8.5 pts).
Here’s a sports quiz for you. True or false: The Saints’ running game is ranked higher in the NFL than the Saints’ passing game. True. New Orleans is second in the league with 154.5 rushing yards per game. The Saints are sixth in passing yards. Now that is one unexpected little factoid.
No doubt; the Saints are a damn good football team. This is really one of those games where I do not expect a win, but want to at least get out with a respectable showing. While there are no moral victories (a loss will set ATL back to 4-3), I do not want to see the Falcons get embarrassed on Monday Night football.