The two franchises, apparently heading in different directions, play tonight in New Orleans on Thursday night football at 8:25 p.m.
The Falcons are 5-0 under new coach Dan Quinn, and except for the tender hamstring of receiver Julio Jones, they appear to be in fine shape. Quarterback Matt Ryan is as dangerous as ever. Young Devonta Freeman from FSU has been dynamic with eight touchdowns. But the Falcons have trailed in four of their five wins.
The Saints, on the other hand, are 1-4 and looking like a team at the end of a successful era. The Saints’ defense has been poor, particularly in the secondary. With Jones coming in, that seems precarious at best. Coach Sean Payton has already denied interest from other teams, including the Dolphins.
Quarterback Drew Brees should have time to throw. The Falcons are only 28th in the league in sacks. The Saints, however, have struggled against the run, so it may be all on Brees.
The Saints normally play well in prime team, winning 16 of their last 20.