Saints @ Falcons: Game Preview

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-3) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (5-3)

SERIES

SAINTS

FALCONS

SERIES LEADER

45-38

STREAKS

4 of past 5

COACHES VS. OPP.

Payton: 8-2

Smith: 2-4

LAST WEEK

W 27-16 vs. Buccaneers

W 31-7 at Colts

LAST GAME

12/27/10: Saints 17 at Falcons 14. New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham catches 6-yard TD pass from QB Drew Brees with 3:24 remaining for decisive points as Saints earn division win.

LAST GAME AT SITE

12/27/10

BROADCAST

FOX (1:00 PM ET): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 92 (NO), 134 (Atl.). XM: 228 (Atl.). 

STATS

PASSING

Brees: 269-379-3,004 (1L)-21 (2L)-11-100.6 (2L)

Ryan: 168-276-1,958-12-9-83.3

RUSHING

Sproles: 49-347-7.1-2

Turner: 157-692-4.4-7 (T3L)

RECEIVING

Sproles (RB): 56 (1C)-446-8.0-3

White: 43-501-11.7-3

OFFENSE

445.1 (1L)

347.1

TAKE/GIVE

-6

+2

DEFENSE

348.1

341.8

SACKS

Harper: 5.5

Abraham, Peters: 3

INTs

P. Robinson: 2

DeCoud: 3

PUNTING

Morstead: 49.7 (2C)

Bosher (R): 38.5

KICKING

Kasay: 85 (1L) (31/31 PAT; 18/22 FG)

Bryant: 57 (21/21 PAT; 12/12 FG)

 

NOTES

SAINTS: QB DREW BREES is 1st player in NFL history with 3,000+ pass yards (3,004) in 1st 9 games of season. Has 20+ comp. in NFL-record 29 games in row. Has TD pass in 36 consecutive games, tied with BRETT FAVRE for 2nd-longest streak in NFL history. As NO QB, is 8-2 vs. Atl., completing 261 of 383 (68.1 pct.) for 3,010 yards with 20 TDs vs. 9 INTs for 99.2 rating...RB-PR-KR DARREN SPROLES is only player in NFL with rush TD (2), rec. TD (3) & ret. TD. RB MARK INGRAM is 2nd among NFL rookies with 329 rush yards. RB PIERRE THOMAS has 10 TDs (6 rush, 4 rec.) in past 12 vs. division. Has 5 TDs (3 rush, 2 rec.) in past 5 vs. Atl...TE JIMMY GRAHAM leads NFL TEs in receptions (55) & yards (791). Had TD in last meeting. WR ROBERT MEACHEM had career-high 10 catches (101 yards) in last meeting. Has 20 career rec. TDs & 13 have gone for 25+ yards. WR DEVERY HENDERSON averages 18.1 yards per catch vs. Atl. (30 catches, 543 yards)...Since entering NFL in 2006, S ROMAN HARPER has 15 sacks, most by DB. DE WILL SMITH aims for 3rd in row vs. Atl. with sack...

FALCONSAim for 7th consecutive win in Nov...QB MATT RYAN is 8-1 in home division games with 10 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 98.7 rating. Aims for 3rd division home game with 100+ rating. Falcons are 18-0 when Ryan has 100+ rating. Is 6-0 in past 6 Nov. starts with 104.7 rating...RB MICHAEL TURNER has 6 rush TDs in past 5. Has 10 rush TDs in past 9 at home. When he has 21+ att., his teams are 25-1 (.962). Since joining Atl. in 2008, has 46 rush TDs, 2nd most in NFL. Has rush TD in 4 of past 5 vs. NO. Has 19 rush TDs in past 16 vs. division... WR JULIO JONES had 3 catches for 131 yards (43.7 avg.) & 2 TDs (80, 50 yards) last week, 1st rookie since 1970 with 80+ & 50+ yard TD catch in game. WR RODDY WHITE aims for 3rd in row vs. NO with TD. Since start of 2007, has 414 rec., 2nd most in NFC. TE TONY GONZALEZ has TD in 2 of past 3 vs. division...DE JOHN ABRAHAM has 105.5 sacks, 2nd most among active players. Had sack & INT in last meeting. CB BRENT GRIMES has INT in 2 of past 4 meetings.

   

            NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-3) at ATLANTA FALCONS (5-3) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)                

The top two teams in the NFC South will meet on Sunday in Atlanta when the 5-3 Falcons host the 6-3 Saints. Both teams are coming off victories in Week 9. New Orleans knocked off Tampa Bay 27-16 and Atlanta defeated Indianapolis 31-7.

Saints quarterback DREW BREES passed for 258 yards and two touchdowns last week. He leads the NFL with 3,004 yards and is the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 3,000 yards through the first nine games of a season. Brees also extended his streak of games with a touchdown pass to 36, tied with BRETT FAVRE for the second longest in league annals (Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHNNY UNITAS, 47).

"This is a pretty critical time for us," says Brees. "We want to be on a roll. Hopefully this is the start of that."

The Falcons have won three in a row and last week got an impressive performance from rookie wide receiver JULIO JONES. The first-round pick out of Alabama had three catches for 131 yards (43.7 average) and two touchdowns (80 and 50 yards) as he became the first rookie since at least the 1970 merger to have an 80+ yard and 50+ yard touchdown catch in a single game.

"He is the most talented rookie I've ever seen," says Atlanta tight end TONY GONZALEZ. "The future is so bright for him. I think he can be one of the best receivers, if not the best receiver, in the league once he puts it all together."

  

NEW ORLEANS: QB DREW BREES leads the NFL with 3,004 passing yards and is the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 3,000 yards through the first nine games of a season. Brees has completed at least 20 passes in an NFL-record 29 consecutive games and has a touchdown pass in 36 contests in a row, tied with BRETT FAVRE for the second-longest steak all-time (Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHNNY UNITAS, 47)...TE JIMMY GRAHAM has 791 yards and is on track for 1,406 receiving yards, which would be the most all-time for a tight end (Pro Football Hall of Famer KELLEN WINSLOW, 1,290 in 1980). With 55 catches, Graham can challenge TONY GONZALEZ's single-season mark of 102 set in 2004...RB DARREN SPROLES is on pace for 99 receptions and 792 receiving yards, both of which would be single-season franchise records for a running back (REGGIE BUSH, 88 catches for 742 yards in 2006)...S ROMAN HARPER has 5.5 sacks and is on track to pass ADRIAN WILSON (eight in 2005) for the most in a season by a DB.    

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