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Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints: Game Preview

Official NFL Release

ATLANTA FALCONS (1-1) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-0)

SERIES

 

FALCONS

SAINTS

SERIES LEADER

44-37

STREAKS

7 of past 8

COACHES VS. OPP.

Smith: 1-3

Payton: 7-1

LAST WEEK

W 41-7 vs. Cardinals

W 25-22 at 49ers

LAST GAME

12/13/09: Saints 26 at Falcons 23.  New Orleans K Garrett Hartley converts 38-yard FG with just over 4 minutes remaining to break 4th-quarter tie as Saints move to 13-0. 

LAST GAME AT SITE

11/2/09: Saints 35, Falcons 27.  New Orleans QB Drew Brees completes 25 of 33 passes for 308 yards & 2 TDs as Saints score 21 unanswered points in 2nd quarter & hold off Atlanta.

BROADCAST

FOX (12:00 PM CT): Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick.  SIRIUS: 153 (Atl.), 123 (NO).  XM: 105 (NO). 

STATS

PASSING

Ryan: 48-76-477-3-1-88.5

Brees: 55-74-491-3-0-105.2 (3C)

RUSHING

Snelling: 26-133-5.1-2 (T3C)

P. Thomas: 37-117-3.2-1

RECEIVING

White: 20 (T1L)-189 (2C)-9.5-1

P. Thomas (RB): 11-72-6.5-0

OFFENSE

369.5 (3C)

297.5

TAKE/GIVE

+2

+5 (1C)

DEFENSE

310.5

335.0

SACKS

5 tied: 1

Ellis: 1

INTs

4 tied: 1

3 tied: 1

PUNTING

Koenen: 38.8

Morstead: 45.1

KICKING

M. Bryant: 20 (1C) (5/5 PAT; 5/6 FG)

Hartley: 13 (4/4 PAT; 3/5 FG)

 

NOTES

FALCONS QB MATT RYAN has won 6 of past 9 division starts.   Had 3 TDs & 117.3 rating last week.  Falcons are 10-0 when Ryan has 100+ rating...RB MICHAEL TURNER aims for 4th in row vs. NO with rush TD.  In last meeting, rushed for 151 yards & TD.  In past 7 vs. division, has rushed for 730 yards (104.3 per game) & 8 TDs, incl. 5 100-yard games. RB JASON SNELLING had career-high 186 scrimmage yards (129 rush, 57 rec.) & 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) last week....WR RODDY WHITE aims for 4th in row at NO with 100+ yards.  In past 3 at NO, has 22 catches for 382 yards (127.3 per game) & 2 TDs.  Has 4 TDs in past 4.  TE TONY GONZALEZ aims for 5th in row vs. NO with 5+ catches.  WR MICHAEL JENKINS had 50-yard TD in last meeting.  In career, Jenkins' 2 best rec. days have come vs. NO (83 yards on 12/10/07 & 82 yards on 12/13/09)...DE KROY BIERMANNhad 4-yard FR-TD in last game at NO.  DE JOHN ABRAHAM had career-high 4 sacks vs. NO (11/4/01 with NYJ).  CB BRENT GRIMES had INT in last game at NO.  S THOMAS DE COUD had sack in last meeting in NO...

SAINTS QB DREW BREES is 7-1 vs. Atl. as Saint.  Has completed 196 of 296 (66.2 pct.) for 2,343 yards with 16 TDs vs. 5 INTs for 101.2 rating in those 8.  Since 2008, Brees is 15-4 (.789) at home (incl. playoffs), completing 460 of 659 (69.8 pct.) for 5,797 yards (305.1 per game) with 50 TDs vs. 9 INTs for 116.5 rating...RB PIERRE THOMAS aims for 3rd in row at home vs. Atl. with rush & rec. TD; in past 2, has 209 scrimmage yards (104.5 per game) & 4 TDs (2 rush, 2 rec.)...WRMARQUES COLSTON aims for 3rd in row vs. Atl. with TD.  WR DEVERY HENDERSON had 4 catches for 158 yards (39.5 avg.) & TD (76 yards) in 11/26/06 meeting, 2nd most yards in career...CB JABARI GREER had 48-yard INT-TD in last meeting at home.  CB TRACY PORTER had INT in last home game vs. Atl.  Had INT last week.  LB JONATHAN VILMAhas 2 INTs vs. Atl., incl. INT in last meeting.  S ROMAN HARPER had 31-yard INT-TD in 12/10/07 meeting.  Had INT last week.  DT SEDRICK ELLIS had sack in last meeting.

 

ATLANTA FALCONS (1-1) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-0) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)                

The defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints will host the division rival Atlanta Falcons in a key NFC South contest at the Superdome.  The Saints have won seven of the past eight in the series, the best stretch by one team since the Falcons won 10 in a row (1995-99). 

Both teams are coming off victories in Week 2. 

Atlanta routed the Arizona Cardinals 41-7 last week as running back JASON SNELLING totaled 186 scrimmage yards and scored three touchdowns. 

"That says a lot about the depth of our team," says Falcons head coach MIKE SMITH.  "He's just a darn good football player, not only running the ball but also catching the football."

On Monday night, the Saints squeaked by the San Francisco 49ers 25-22.  New Orleans' GARRETT HARTLEY kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to propel the defending champions to victory. 

"We are proud of the way we finished the game, but we certainly have some things to look at," says Saints head coach SEAN PAYTON

The Falcons will look to slow down the New Orleans offense led by Super Bowl XLIV MVP DREW BREES, who is 15-4 (.789) at home (including playoffs) since the start of the 2008 season with 50 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 116.5 passer rating.

"The Saints are a big play team," says Smith.  "They thrive on big plays and they're very talented on the offensive side of the ball.  There are going to be matchup issues and that's going to be the biggest challenge for our defense this week."