Well, we're on the brink of training camps for each team and I decided to post a series of articles called Falcons Vs Saints.
I've decided to start with offense for this article.
First a little background on the rivalry.
The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints rivalry maybe the most underrated rivalry in the NFL.
The Falcons and the Saints have had intense battles for 40+ years.
The Falcons currently lead the head to head record 45-35 and the Falcons defeated the Saints in the only post-season match-up between the two teams.
But the Saints were able to defeat the Falcons in their first game back in the Superdome during the 2006 season.
Many people feel that the Tampa Bay Bucs-Carolina Panther rivalry is the most heated because of the Monday Night Spectacular they put on last season but the Panther's have been in the league for 14 years.
Now on to the Position by Position breakdown:
The Falcons have a great up and coming quarterback in Matt Ryan, who was the Offensive Rookie of the Year and had the best season for a rookie QB ever, (well statistically).
New Orleans on the other hand have a great QB that's in his prime. Drew Brees became the 2nd QB ever to throw for over 5,000 yds in a season and came just 16 yds short of the record.
So the Saints have the better QB (right now).
Now on to running backs....
The Falcons had the second best rushing offense with Michael Turner leading the charge. Turner was second in the league for rushing with 1,699 yds and touchdowns with 17. But Turner also had 375 carries which led the NFL.
That's why the Falcons have decided to give Jerious Norwood more carries this season. Norwood will be the perfect scat back type of complement to Turner's "bust ya in the mouth run" style.
The Saints have Pierre Thomas (129 rushes/625 yds/12 total tds/4.8 yds per rush) and Reggie Bush (106 rushes/404 yds/9 total tds) as their running backs.
Pierre Thomas is poised to have a break out season, but I'm not sure about Reggie Bush and his history of injuries.
The Falcons clearly have the better running back tandem.
The Falcons have Pro-Bowl Receiver Roddy White who set a team record for receiving yards last year with 1,382 yds and Michael Jenkins who had a career high in receiving yards last year with 777 yds.
Roddy White is quickly becoming one of the best receivers in the game and is set to get a pretty nice contract extension after a Pro Bowl Season last year (although he did drop a couple of balls).
The Falcons also traded for Tony Gonzalez, who has every record for a tightend ever thought of.
Then you add in Harry Douglas, who may make a push for the starting spot opposite White; Brian Finnernan, whose 67% of his career catches goes for 1st downs; and Aaron Kelly, who may be the best undrafted receiver in this year's rookie class.
For the Saints, they have Lance Moore who had 900 receiving yds and Marques Colston who struggled with injuries and had 760 yds and 5 tds.
The Saints have a pretty good pair of starting receivers core, but their tightend spot and slot/back up receivers aren't very impressive.
After Moore and Colston, the Saints have Devery Henderson, a deep threat who struggles catching the ball consistently (in other words he drops too many balls) and Robert Meachem, who has yet to have his big breakout season.
Yeah, the Saints traded a 2nd and 5th round pick for Jeremy Shockey but they're probably wishing they didn't.
Shockey is very injury prone and had the worst season of his career last year (50 rec/483 yds/0 tds).
And Shockey has already taken a trip the hospital after he was found unconcious at a pool party in Vegas.
So once again the Falcons win this position because they're deeper at receiver and have the best tightend in the league.
The Falcons' offensive line was pretty great last season by only giving up 17 sacks.
But after the retirements of Todd Weiner and Jeremy Newberry (who had a very short career with the Falcons), the Falcons have very little depth.
The offensive line needs to stay healthy and Sam Baker has to have a great season protecting Matt Ryan's blind side.
If Baker or Tyson Clabo go down with an injury, who's going to be the back up?
Will Svitek isn't proven, so the Birds need a veteran back-up at tackle and also guard. I'm pretty sure Brett Romberg will be a decent enough back-up at center, but only at center.
So the Falcons need to address that.
Now to the Saints.....
Their O-line is great.
They gave up a season franchise low 13 sacks and have a ton of talent starting with left tackle Jamal Brown, who I think is very very underrated.
There's not more you can say about the Saints O-line besides that it's simply the best in the division.
So obviously, the Saints have the better O-line.
Defense will be up soon.
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