Week 10: Atlanta Falcons At New Orleans Saints

Minnesota Vikings v Atlanta Falcons
(Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Winner The Falcons will go as far as MVP candidate Matt Ryan can take them. Ryan has played sensational football this year, but he knows that he won’t be able to join the list of elite quarterbacks in the NFL until he starts winning playoff games. Ryan can’t do anything about that right now, but his consistency thus far has been noteworthy.
The Saints have struggled quite a bit this season, but you can’t find too much fault with the way Drew Brees is coming. Brees is smaller than you want your quarterback to be, but he excels at putting the ball on the money and into the arms of his receivers. Brees has excellent velocity on his throws, buys time with his feet and an indomitable attitude.
Winner The Falcons don’t put it all on Ryan to make things happen by himself. Michael Turner is a power running back who can take the pressure off of the passing game. Turner has rushed for 517 yards through the first half of the season and he can also block and help out as a receiver. Roddy White is one of the most prolific receivers in the league, Julio Jones can stretch the field and veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez is still dependable.
Winner The Saints can move the ball up and down the field. Despite their poor start, they are still a formidable offensive team. Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram are a punishing duo at the running back position. Marques Colston continues to be a consistent threat as a receiver. Lance Moore is one of the most underrated players in the league because he can always get open.
Winner The Falcons come at you with speed and aggressiveness on the defensive end. Defensive end John Abraham can turn the corner and get after the passer. He has recorded seven sacks through the halfway point of the season. Sean Weatherspoon is smart and strong. He leads the Falcons in tackles with 53 and his hits are punishing. Safety Thomas DeCoud is a difference maker who has 39 tackles and four interceptions.
The Saints have been disastrous on the defensive side of the ball. They have given up at least 400 yards in all eight games thus far, something no other NFL team had surrendered in league history. Defensive end Cameron Jordan leads the team with six sacks. He sacked Eagles QB Michael Vick three times in the Week Nine victory.
Special Teams
Winner The Falcons are getting improved play from return man Jacquizz Rodgers, who has a 77-yard kickoff return to his credit and looks dangerous every time he gets his hands on the ball. Placekicker Matt Bryant has made 20-of-22 FG attempts this season.
The Saints are getting a lot of production from punter Thomas Morstead, who is averaging 51.2 yards per boot this season and has dropped 11 of 36 punts inside the 20. Garrett Hartley has made just 2-of-5 field goal attempts of 30 yards or longer.

The Winner Is

Minnesota Vikings v Atlanta Falcons
Winner Falcons
4 out of 4

The Falcons made it through the first half of the season with an unbeaten record, but this is not a team without flaws. Ryan is often under pressure and the offensive line is going to have to improve if the Falcons are going to fulfill expectations. While the Saints aren’t going anywhere this season, they still have an explosive offensive team.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

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  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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