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What do the Falcons bring to the table? Week 18 Scouting Report

A look at how the Atlanta Falcons match up against the New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The season is on the line as the New Orleans Saints try to both avoid getting swept by the Atlanta Falcons and make it to the Wildcard. Of course they will need the Rams to beat the 49ers, but that’s out of the hands of the Saints. Luckily, the Falcons have gotten worse in pretty much every major statistical category.

Atlanta’s Offense Key Stats

*ranks are out of 32 (all stats courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference)

Yards Per Game: 26th

Passing Offense: 18th

Rushing Offense: 30th

Points Per Game: 27th

Offensive Efficiency: 21st

Cordarrelle Patterson was the main weapon in the Falcons win earlier this year, but he has been in sort of a slump in the last month. In fact, the Week 8 match-up was the last time he had over 30 receiving yards. He’s had a couple of good games running the ball though, but that is the Saints strength.

Cameron Jordan is RED HOT. He has 7.5 sacks in his last three games and it is no secret that sacking Matt Ryan is one of his favorite activities. I would be shocked if the porous offensive line of the Falcons would be the ones to slow him down. Matt Ryan is the fifth most sacked quarterback in the NFL.

The Kyle Pitts selection is oft mocked since taking a tight end probably should not have been a top priority of the front office, however I actually think he has had a pretty great season all things considered. He is second in the league for rookie receiving yards, and is already the fifth best TE in the NFL according to PFF grades. He will be a problem on Sunday, and possibly the biggest threat to keeping the Saints out of the post-season.

Also according to PFF, Matt Ryan is having his worst season since 2009. Is old age, few offensive weapons, poor offensive line play, or playcalling? Probably a mixture of all of those. He’s still dangerous, just not the MVP Matt Ryan of old.

Atlanta’s Defense Key Stats

*ranks are out of 32 (all stats courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference)

Total Defense: 24th

Passing Defense: 19th

Rushing Defense: 26th

Points Per Game: 29th

Defensive Efficiency Grade: 27th

Luckily for Dean Pees and his defense, the Saints have been just awful on offense. Realistically it’s been all season, but the last three weeks have been miserable to watch. I would expect the Saints to attack through the ground for a massive part of the game. It’ll be their best chance to win.

I made fun of the AJ Terrell selection when it was made, but he has actually been a fantastic corner this season. He’s actually been the best cornerback in football this season going off of PFF grades. There is certainly an argument for it. I don’t love the match-up of him against any of the Saints receivers.

The front seven of the Falcons has been terrible this season, and that’s pretty much the only way to say it.

Bottom Line on Atlanta

Strengths: Kyle Pitts. AJ Terrell. Matt Ryan, I guess?

Weakness: Everything else.


What do you think of the Atlanta Falcons? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @DillySanders.