The New Orleans Saints march over to Atlanta & face their arch-nemesis for the second time in three weeks. It didn’t go so swiftly for the Falcons in their last date with Taysom Hill’s Saints. Saints closed out the dome win with a 24-9 victory.
Looking ahead—the Saints will see a slightly different Falcons squad. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Todd Gurley have all been limited in practice this week. If the Falcons lose a couple of stars from their team for this game, it will be very, very difficult to come back even better than last losing result.
All in all, Atlanta will need to win more & better match-ups than last go-around. Let’s take a closer look at the specific match-ups on display.
1) Cameron Jordan vs Kaleb McGray
In the past two Falcons matches, Cam Jordan has been on another planet against Atlanta. Jordan has 7 sacks in his last two games against his favorite QB—Matt Ryan. Not only has Jordan been dynamite, but the Saints boasted a season-high 8 sacks on Matty Ice in 2020. In last year’s contest, the Saints scored a franchise-record of 9 sacks against Atlanta.
Jordan’s success has been a staple for New Orleans to say the least. If Julio ends up missing this match-up, it will be imminent that Matt Ryan is able to stay up right more than usual. If Cam Jordan shows up with his annual Top-5 career performance against Matt Ryan, Ryan will have mania of Jordan for eternity, plus the Falcons will have a tough time of scoring 2+ touchdowns.
2) Marshon Lattimore vs Julio Jones
The highlight of last meeting between the two teams didn’t lie in the quarterback play, but Patrick Robinson’s moments in covering Julio Jones. Julio only went 2 receptions for 39 receieving yards on the day. It was an incredible sight & duty for the Saints defense.
Now that Marshon Lattimore is back in the lineup as the No. 1 CB for New Orleans, the bar is set for Lattimore to at least cover Robinson’s performance from a couple of weeks ago. If Julio does in fact get his moments on Lattimore for whatever reason, it will open things up for a Top-5 Falcons passing offense. Then the tables may shift on Taysom Hill to convert more third-down conversions through the air.
3) Taysom Hill’s ball security
I’m one of the Saints addicts that believe Atlanta will be closer to the team that demolished Las Vegas, rather than the team that got embarrassed by Taysom Hill two weeks ago. The Falcons will make the necessary adjustments, unravel better play calls, be more prepared for Taysom Hill, and make it a tighter game.
We know Taysom Hill can create spark plays, but we shouldn’t have a serious reason to believe he’s going to rip off 400 yards and 4 touchdowns. He will likely be a 250 total yard, 2-3 touchdown figure at the QB position. With saying that and reconciling what we’ve seen, we should be led to believe Taysom Hill will need to take care of the football for a chance to win this game. Hill can’t go out there and commit multiple turnovers and make up for it against a divisional foe.
The reason that it’s so important is that Hill has a ridiculous fumble issue. He’s only started two games this year, but he has 5 total fumbles on the year—including his part time duties. Hill coughed it up against Atlanta last time. That’s a serious thing to keep an eye on for this game & it’s vital for his potential that teams can see he’s not getting worn down with protecting the football.
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