Found November 29, 2012 on The Saints Nation:
Gameday! I'm not sure how I feel about having a game on a Thursday night, but it sure makes the end of the week more exciting. The Saints will attempt to take the season sweep on the Falcons today and run their record back to .500 in the process. The Falcons are 10-1 on the season and I think we all know who that one loss belongs to. The two teams know each other well so there won't be many surprises... this game will be more about who executes better. Here are the five things I'm looking for. 1. Can the Saints withstand the Falcons' initial surge? I full expect the Falcons to give the Saints their best shot, given the history and the trash talk that ensued after the Saints' last win. I think they'll come out of the gate possessed and eager to put up points quickly, which in my opinion means they'll take some risks early. I think it's important for the Saints to avoid going down a couple scores early on the road like they did in the previous game against the Falcons at home.  2. How does the right tackle position hold up? That was one of the five things I was looking for last week and it remains an area of major concern. Signs point to Zach Strief being back to reclaim his starting spot, which would be huge, but I think it's safe to assume he won't be coming back at anything close to 100%. If he can't go, then 4th stringer William Robinson who's been with the Saints for about 7 days this season would get the start. Either scenario is far from ideal, though I do feel slightly better having a diminished Zach Strief in there. That position needs to hold up for the rest of the line to play well, for Jimmy Graham to get more playing time, and for the offense to be more efficient. 3. Does Pierre Thomas get touches? Pierre Thomas got one touch last week which is just absurd. He's in my opinion the best back of the four and he was phased out of the gameplan last week. My hope is that was just a matchup situation against the 49ers and he'll see more action against the Falcons. Personally I'd rather see Chris Ivory and PT getting the majority of the touches (over Sproles and Ingram) at the moment. Right now I think Thomas and Ivory give the team the best chance at winning, so I'd like to see them both involved more. 4. Can the Saints slow down the Falcons' playmakers? Last time these teams faced off the Saints completely shut down Michael Turner, which was fantastic. I have a feeling they will come out seeking to do the same. That mindset came at the expense of getting gashed for huge chunks of yards in the passing game, though. The trio of Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez all put up big time yardage against the Saints' secondary as Matt Ryan threw for a career high number of yards. I'm looking for the Saints secondary to come up with a better effort on the back end to at least slow these guys down a little. 5. Does Brees have enough time to expose the Falcons' backup corners? Atlanta's starting corners Dunta Robinson and Asante Samuel were both banged up last week. Samuel hasn't practiced all week long and he's listed as questionable, so I don't think he'll play. Robinson has been limited all week and he's listed as probable. So Brees will definitely face a diminished secondary, but Jimmy Graham may not have as huge of a game as last time with Sean Weatherspoon back. So I think there's an opportunity for Colston, Moore and Henderson to expose the Falcon corners in this one, IF Brees has enough time to wait for their routes to develop. Remember the Saints gave up 5 sacks on Sunday so I'm expected the offensive line to respond with a much better game.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Saints team bus gets egged by Atlanta airport employees

Multiple New Orleans Saints players say that workers at Atlanta's airport egged their team bus as they arrived from New Orleans for their upcoming game on Thursday night, according to WWL-TV. Jimmy Graham was among the players, including Chase Daniel and Will Herring, who tweeted about the incident. Bus just got egged after landing in ATL by the ramp workers. Classy!

Brees' NFL-record TD streak ends at 54 games

ATLANTA A lingering media throng is a curious sight following ahistoric sporting event, conversing in hushed tones but bodies and eyes all facing one direction. On Thursday night in the Georgia Dome,those eyes faced the Saints locker room door, each pair straining to spot afuture Hall of Fame quarterback. After years of playing Atlantastormenter, Drew Brees feel back to Earth against...

Saints' Brodrick Bunkley hit with $20,000 fine for kick

The NFL has deemed that Saints defensive lineman Brodrick Bunkley's kick to the head 49ers OL Alex Boone was $10,000 less of an infraction that Ndamukong Suh's groin kick to Texans' QB Matt Schaub. Are we the only ones who think the NFL is all of the place this year in it's consistency regarding discipline? First, Roger Goodell says he wasn't sure of Suh&...

Vilma, Smith attend hearing with Williams in Saints' bounty case

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith attended a hearing Friday at Washington, D.C., law office during bounty appeals testimony that included former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Both players said they came away with a positive feeling after a day of cross examination by Vilma's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, and Smith's NFL Players...

Saints' Vilma, Smith will attend bounty hearing Friday

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith have a busy few days coming up. Thursday night, they will play a crucial game against the Falcons in Atlanta. Friday morning, they will be in Washington, D.C., as part of their appeal of suspensions handed down in the Saints' bounty scandal. ESPN.com reported that the NFL Players Association will...

Falcons pick off Brees 5 times, beat Saints 23-13

Boy, did Drew Brees lay an egg against the Atlanta Falcons. Five interceptions for the first time in his career. The end of his NFL-record touchdown streak. And a timing mistake that cost the Saints dearly. The Falcons raced to a 17-0 lead, then turned to their defense to make it stand up. The result was a 23-13 victory Thursday night that pushed Atlanta to the brink of a division...

Saints Players Accuse Atlanta Airport Employees of Egging Team Bus on Wednesday

The Saints-Falcons rivalry is as legit as they come. Want proof? On Wednesday night, when the Saints were boarding buses at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, a few Saints players accused airport employees of  egging their bus. The Saints are in town for a Thursday night battle with the Falcons at the Georgia dome. Check out the tweets below from Jimmy Graham, Chase Daniel...

Atlanta airport workers apparently egged the New Orleans Saints’ charter bus

The Saints and Falcons tangle in Atlanta tonight. And if the game wasn’t big enough, workers at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport apparently egged the charter bus the Saints used when they arrived in Atlanta Wednesday night. A couple of Saints players took to Twitter to give firsthand accounts of the egging. Wow, as we’re boarding buses on the Tarmac @ Atlanta airport, we...

Williams set to appear at bounties hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) Right from the start, the NFL said Gregg Williams was in charge of a pay-for-pain bounty system with the New Orleans Saints. Now the former defensive coordinator - who told the league about others' involvement - is slated to be cross-examined by lawyers for players appealing their suspensions in the case. Friday's session is part of the latest round of player...

Falcons/Saints Part Deux

A little after eight o'clock tonight the Falcons and Saints will go at it for the second time this season with the Falcons looking for a much different finish. The Falcons sit at 10-1 but still have a bit of a bitter taste in their mouth as their lone loss came at New Orleans. The Saints might deny that this is a rivalry but these two teams grew up hating each other and that...

Saints Nation: Fan Predictions for Falcons Game (Part II)

It was only a matter time before Marijn got lucky and everyone else would be wrong in their predictions and he'd sneak out a victory. Ellmanov tied him with only one correct answer so it came down to the tiebreaker bonus question... which Marijn won by virtue of having the lowest yardage total. Vernon Davis had 0 yards, go figure. Well, with a new week comes a new game and with...

New Orleans Saints’ Bus Egged By Airport Workers Upon Arriving in Atlanta

On Thursday, the New Orleans Saints will take on the Atlanta Falcons in Georgia, with the Saints fighting for their playoff lives against a Super Bowl favorite. After the Saints landed in Atlanta on Wednesday night ahead of that game, the locals made sure the team knows exactly how they feel about the Saints. According to Twitter reports seemingly corroborated by the Atlanta Journal...

League-leading Falcons, Texans struggle for respect

10-1. Both the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans share this league-leading record but as players on both teams will tell you, nobody in the media seems to be interested in these two teams’ success. So why has respect been so hard for the Falcons and Texans to come by? Well as a long time Falcons fan I can probably answer why they get so little respect a little quicker. CLICK HERE...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.