Cleat Geeks

Monday Night Match Up: Atlanta Falcons @ New Orelans Saints

My Outlook

Atlanta Falcons (1-1) @ New Orleans Saints (0-2)

To close out the NFL’s third week, the Falcons pay a visit to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. In an NFC South showdown, obviously, both teams would love a win to get an edge on the division, but the Saints really need a W after their slow start. This one should be exciting; don’t expect it to be low scoring.

Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
The Falcons are coming off a pretty close win against the Raiders where, again, Matt Ryan looked good. The Falcons rank 29th in total defense and 2nd in total offense. Matty Ice has also put up a QBR of at least 100 in his last four starts against New Orleans, and it helps a ton that Julio Jones (calf strain and ankle) and Mohamed Sanu (ankle) will play on Monday night. Tevin Coleman and Jacob Tamme have also put up good numbers in the passing game. I’m expecting the Falcons to have an explosion through the air. However, their defense still needs a lot of work and figuring out what to do. The Falcons should do well as long as the protection is good up front, which shouldn’t be a problem vs. New Orleans, and Ryan continues to produce.

New Orleans Saints (0-2)
The Saints have had two disappointing, close losses this year including the unbelievable loss to the Raiders with Jack Del Rio’s risky two point conversion. Despite being winless, Brees has been played exceptionally well this season, and especially on Monday nights. He’s put up 300-plus passing yards and four or more TD passes in four of past five Monday nighters. Brandin Cooks also is performing well with a good game against the Giants and his offensive explosion vs. the Raiders. Willie Snead should also continue to be a threat through the air with a TD in each game this year. If Brees slings the rock around well, the Saints should have no problem competing. Yet, like the Falcons’ D, the Saints have had their struggles ranking 31st in total D. They do rank 9th overall for total offense and Brees will most likely shine on Monday night yet again. This one will definitely be a shootout.

Prediction: Falcons-31 Saints-28

The Outcome

Well it was a shootout, and the final score of 45-32 was even more than I predicted, and proof to the two defenses that were on the field.

Tevin Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs, and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

The Saints’ depleted defense struggled to slow down Devonta Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for an additional 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing. Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1) which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers – 376 yards and three TDs passing – but his interception for a touchdown on a tipped pass early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.

The loss dropped the Saints to 0-3 and in last place.

Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
M. Ryan 20 30 240 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
D. Freeman 14 152 10.9 0
T. Coleman 12 42 3.5 3
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Freeman 5 55 11 1
T. Coleman 3 47 15.7 0
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
D. Brees 36 54 376 3
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
M. Ingram 15 77 5.1 0
T. Hightower 3 19 6.3 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
C. Fleener 7 109 15.6 1
B. Coleman 7 78 11.1 0

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