By: John Wickham
The Falcons are 6-0 all time against the Saints in season openers. The Saints own an 11-3 record against the Falcons since 2006, when Sean Payton and Drew Brees came onboard. But come this Sunday you can throw out all the numbers when these two teams face each other.
In 2012, each team won at home the first was a high-scoring shootout where the Saints came out the victors and the second was a low-scoring game where Drew Brees threw 5 interceptions and was held without a touchdown, a first in 55 games.
This year Sean Payton is back roaming the sidelines for the Saints. Rob Ryan is replacing Steve Spagnuolo and is bringing the 3-4 defense with him. The Saints drafted S Kenny Vacarro in the 1st round. The defense has been hit hard by injuries in the preseason. On offense Drew Brees is still at the helm and still performing at an elite level.
The Falcons have Matt Ryan and their receiving triplets: Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez. New to the offense is former St. Louis Ram, Steven Jackson. The offensive line has several new faces on with Peter Konz switching over to his natural Center position, Garrett Reynolds returning from injury taking over RG and last year’s 3rd round pick Lamar Holmes taking over RT. The defense has some new faces as well with Desmond Trufant replacing Dunta Robinson and Osi Umenyiora replacing John Abraham.
I expect another high-scoring game with whoever has the ball last has the best chance to win. And with Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan leading the way with 22 game-winning drives since his arrival I believe the Falcons win this shootout.