Atlanta Falcons: 5 Reasons Why the Dirty Birds Will Beat the Saints
It was another ho-hum week for the Falcons as they romped the helpless Indianapolis Colts.
Falcons fans have been cautiously looking past the Colts since the bye week, as the real showdown is yet to come.
After starting off the season rough, the Falcons have rebounded nicely and have won three in a row. They look to be hitting their stride just in time for their prime-time division matchup.
Here are five reasons why the Dirty Birds will triumph and look to take over the NFC South.
He was brought in to make big plays, and boy did he do that against the Colts this weekend.
Julio Jones' touchdown receptions of both 50 and 85 yards helped catapult the rising Falcons to a dominating win over the struggling Colts.
While Atlanta has struggled with the forcing and executing of big plays, that all changed as Jones seems to have finally hit his stride.
On the 50-yard snag, he laid himself out with coverage draped around him, hauling in the ball just over the goal-line for a score. His 85-yarder displayed the speed that was so enticing that the Falcons traded some draft picks and the family farm for him. He caught the ball on a slant and burned the rest of the helpless, chasing defense.
When the Falcons face off against the Saints, you can bet that New Orleans will be keying in on the game changing Julio Jones.
No matter the coverage he sees, his athleticism and big play capabilities should allow him to scamper down the field untouched at least once against the Saints as he ignites the Falcon offense.
The streak survives.
The longest active forced-turnover streak in consecutive games in the NFL stayed alive as the Falcons have now gone 27 straight games forcing a turnover.
That isn't stopping against the Saints next Sunday.
Brent Grimes leads a pesky defense that has adopted the bend-don't-break mentality. Atlanta may allow a lot of yards over the middle and down the field, but when it's time to seal the deal, they show up.
Drew Brees may have a plethora of weapons at his disposal, but the Atlanta defense will find a way to force more than one turnover, as the improved pass rush led by John Abraham and Ray Edwards will hurry Brees into making questionable decisions that Thomas DeCoud and Grimes will take advantage of.
Sure, it was the Colts, but the Falcons looked dominant on Sunday and have looked dominant for the last three they've played.
Ever since getting back to grinding defenses down with Michael Turner, the Falcons have started winning games.
If they continue their successful strategy against New Orleans next Sunday, there is no reason to believe that they will be stymied by a Saints defense that isn't terribly intimidating.
The Georgia Dome
The Saints were the second to last team to beat the Falcons in the regular season inside arguably the most difficult place to play in the NFL, the Georgia Dome.
While the Packers trampled the Falcons in the sacred dome in last season's playoffs, and pulled away from them there earlier this season, the Saints took down the Falcons at home in Week 16 of last season.
There is a bitter taste in the mouth of both fans and players and the Falcons will protect their house as the Saints come marching in.
Look for Atlanta to take shots early to ignite the crowd and send them into a frenzy that will be too much for the Saints to overcome, as Matt Ryan avoids his fifth loss in the Dome.
Matt Ryan's real name isn't the title of this slide for a reason.
When the game is close and it's in the Dome, his nickname hold's its own weight as ice runs through his veins.
After leading several comeback wins there throughout his career, he may just add another impressive victory to his resume in the Sunday showdown with New Orleans.
Drew Brees is by all means clutch and is certainly a better and more accomplished quarterback, but when Matt Ryan and the rest of the Dirty Birds are in the Dome hoping to avenge their lone regular season Georgia Dome loss from last season, you can bet the fourth-year quarterback out of Boston College will come out with guns blazing.