Falcons-Saints: Monday Night Football Preview

Greg RiotAnalyst INovember 2, 2009

The undefeated New Orleans Saints will try to prove once again that they are the best team in the NFL right now as they host the 12-point underdog Atlanta Falcons 8:30 PM ET at the Superdome in a NFC South Monday Night Football showdown.

Atlanta Falcons +11.5
New Orleans Saints -11.5
O/U 56

Odds provided by BetUS.com

It's really hard to find anything negative about how the Saints play. Last week they scored 22 points in the last quarter to win 46-34 over the Dolphins. No team has allowed 34 points this season and managed to win the game by at least two scores.

"Everyone thinks we're a finesse team and we're always up early, but here we showed that we can come from behind," running back Mike Bell said. "There was a major (deficit) at halftime, and we came back, and persevered, and we stuck together."

Atlanta, on the other hand, will try to bounce back after an ugly 37-21 loss last week against the Cowboys. Matt Ryan threw for 198 yards with two scores and two interceptions. He has four picks in the last two games.

Ryan is playing against a talented passing defense that is ranked seventh in the league. The Saints have 13 total interceptions (third in the NFL) and 14 sacks. Being as aggressive as the Saints defense is, the Falcons may find some big plays down the field with Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, and of course, Tony Gonzalez.

"If we've got any chance of winning the division, I think the guys in the locker room know this is a big game for us," running back Michael Turner said. "We don't want to fall three games behind. In the NFL it's tough to catch up once you fall that many games behind and they have a win on you already. We've got to do whatever it takes to pull off this win on Monday."

On defense you can expect the Falcons' fast front seven to blitz a lot to make Drew Brees uncomfortable and keep him away from throwing inside the pocket—although the Jets and the Bills can tell you stopping Brees may not be enough to beat the Saints.

New Orleans has won seven out of eight games at the Superdome dating to last year, beating Atlanta 29-25 on Dec. 7.


Head to Head Matchup

Dec. 7, 2008         ATL 25, NOR 29
Nov. 9, 2008         ATL 34, @NOR 20
Dec. 10, 2007       ATL 14, @NOR 34
Oct. 21, 2007        ATL 16, NOR 22
Nov. 26, 2006      ATL 13, @NOR 31
Sep. 25, 2006       ATL 3, NOR 23
Dec. 12, 2005       ATL 36, @NOR 17

My pick: The Saints. Over