Today the Atlanta Falcons face their most hated rival in the New Orleans Saints. This rivalry for the division is, without a doubt, one of the strongest in the league. No matter how either team performs the records, these games are always seriously competitive because they know each other so well. Also, having real disdain for your competitors is always her own motivation.
Obviously, there will be some caveats in today’s match given Drew Breeze is on injured reserve, but there are still some Falcons who need to make an impact for the Falcons to beat the Saints.
Coach Jeff Ulbrich
As I mentioned before, Saints Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees would be knocked out of this match with a rib injury. As a result, HC Sean Payton stated that Taysom Hill will be the initiator of QB. Now, I am clearly not buying this one. Hill will see the time and start most like the first series of the team, but I don’t see a situation where he plays the bulk of the game in QB. However, coach Ulbrich will need to prepare for both Hill and former Buccaneers starting QB Jameis Winston.
We saw a more aggressive defense under Ulbrich and would need to see more today against the Saints. If Ulbrich can mix the covers and keep pushing the QBs that see Saints Square, this should bode well for the Falcons.
When attacking, Saints have some primary goals that they want to participate early and often. RB Alvin Kamara is at the top of the list, and given Drew Brees is down, I think they’ll be counting on him more for their running and passing game.
In previous matches against the Saints, Deion was tasked as neutral Kamara and has done the mission up to this point. If the Hawks are to succeed in defense, Deion will have to keep knocking Camara out of the pass game to eliminate this option. The ability to eliminate Camara’s offensive influence will be a huge factor in defeating the Saints.
Ridley looks good to play today, and he couldn’t come at a better time. Ridley is already one of the NFL’s best running receivers, and he’s been pretty good so far against the Saints. Its presence as an option in the passing game makes things easier for many other skilled players like Julio Jones and Todd Gurley. If it’s 100%, I would expect Ridley to make a great rematch against the Saints.
The Falcons have proven more competitive since Raheem Morris took over as head coach. Also, when out of the game, he plays some time on the team to rest and recover. I definitely love the aggression the team has shown defensively up to this point, and it sure must continue if the Falcons want to clamp Sean Payton’s attack. The Falcons, under coach Morris, have done a good job so far in winning the matches they should win. Not only do they have to defeat the New Orleans Saints, but they have to do so because, well, they are the Saints and there is a lot at stake regarding the bragging rights.