Falcons vs. Saints: 3 key matchups

 

DOUBLE TAPPED - Washington Redskins quarterback # 17 Jason Campbell is hit from both sides as he is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive end # 55 John Abraham, left, and defensive tackle # 95 Jonathan Babineaux, right, for a sack during 2nd quarter action knocking him out of the game on the play at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009.  (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

DOUBLE TAPPED - Washington Redskins quarterback # 17 Jason Campbell is hit from both sides as he is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive end # 55 John Abraham, left, and defensive tackle # 95 Jonathan Babineaux, right, for a sack during 2nd quarter action knocking him out of the game on the play at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

1. Saints Gs Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans vs. Falcons DTs Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters: For folks who know how to watch the game away from the ball, the battle to win the interior of the line of scrimmage will be fiercely contested. (If you don’t, you can get Pat Kirwan’s book: Take Your Eye Off The Ball) Falcons coach Mike Smith said he wouldn’t argue with the contention that Nicks and Evans are the best guard tandem in the NFL. Babineaux, one of the league’s top penetrators, is returning to form after suffering a knee injury. Peters is having a great second year with 16 tackles, three sacks, three passes defensed and an interception. “They’re very big up front, but I think the strength is the two offensive guards,” Smith said. “They are big, strong men that have done a really good job.”

2. Saints S Roman Harper vs. Falcons QB Matt Ryan: This will be the chess match of the day. Ryan will have to account for Harper and then try to counter what the Saints have him doing on a particular play. Harper moves around a lot. He comes to the line of scrimmage in run support and is an effective blitzer off the edge. He leads the Saints with 5.5 sacks and 63 tackles. Harper may spend some time covering Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, too.

3. Saints RT Zach Strief vs. Falcons DE Ray Edwards: Strief will play his second game since returning from a knee injury. Edwards has played strong, but has only two sacks. The Falcons talk about changing Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ launching point and getting him off his throwing spots. Edwards signed in the offseason to help the Falcons get quarterbacks on the ground. Strief likely will receive some help from blocking tight end Dave Thomas.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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111 comments Add your comment

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
7:39 am

GEAUX SAINTS!!!

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
7:43 am

Where are the falcan’t fans? Hiding in embarrassement already? Kinda of early for that.

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
7:45 am

Hey Ledbetter: Which falcan’t is going to be covering Sproles? That’s going to be even more key. And who is going to be covering Graham?

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
7:47 am

Well this board is as lifeless as the falcan’t offensive playcalling guru. I’m out, but, …..I’ll be back!!

Really?

November 11th, 2011
7:47 am

SeenThisB4 — This is your mother. I’ve told you twice now to get ready for school and get off the computer. The short bus will be here shortly. Do I have to get your father?

Michael M.

November 11th, 2011
7:48 am

Its a neverending thing with this New Orleans Bunch……………..When the Falcons ” Go Marching in ” this Sunday…..don’t say I didn’t have told you so………………..a million times already !

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
7:52 am

Oh your falcan’t rodents may come marching in, but they WILL go crawling out.

Michael M.

November 11th, 2011
7:53 am

The Saints ?

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
7:55 am

The pronoun “they” refers to the subject of the sentence: rodents.

Season Ticker Holder

November 11th, 2011
7:56 am

The Aints still can’t stop the run. Turner will slowly grin the Aints into gumbo. Falcons Win 24-17

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
7:56 am

But I know, those Atlanta teachers really screwed you poor ba$tards out of any kind of a fair education huh! OMG. If I didn’t hate you so viscerally, I’d actually would feel a little compassion for you illiterate fools, but I don’t.

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
7:57 am

I will grant you that, we can’t stop the run. BUT, we can stop the falcan’ts.

Michael M.

November 11th, 2011
7:57 am

Why dont you trip your finger over a key and break one an give us break !
lol

NewOrleansJazz

November 11th, 2011
7:58 am

The number one matchup in the equation

Sean Payton against Smith. Payton has been winning the battle thus far and I don’t expect anything to change soon. We would have won both games last year after Smith made the bone head decision in the 4th quarter in N.O. to go for it on 4th and 3. If it wasn’t for the idiot Gary Hartless we would have toasted and roasted the birds. I’m predicting N.O. to win both games this year and continue their decade long dominance over d birds. So much fun.

Season Ticker Holder

November 11th, 2011
8:00 am

SeenThisB4 we want you to cheer for the Aints now, because after the Falcons kick the Aints butt on Sunday, I want to here you say loud and clear, the Falcons are No. 1.

Michael M.

November 11th, 2011
8:00 am

I have this deep down Gut Feeling that after the Game gets going good not only will The Birds Win the Ballgame but they will blow your Bunch’s Team Out !

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
8:01 am

In all fairness though, Smith has a handicap. He’s full of Mularkey.

Michael M.

November 11th, 2011
8:02 am

The Saint’s Bunch always refer back to yesteryears…..lmao about that because its all you Clowns have to go on..,,,this is a new year, new Season,new game !

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
8:03 am

STH: Yeah right. LOL! And, will you stipulate the same for when the Saints win?

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
8:04 am

Mickey: Don’t give us that BS, you and your boys are always harking back to yesteryear. And I guess that would be a function of your age, my guess there. Didn’t you already admit that you were in the sunset years now?

Michael M.

November 11th, 2011
8:08 am

I guess you Clowns actually think The Saints are just going to waltz into the Dome and The Birds are going to lay down and say, ” here you can have the Victory”…………………your team could win Sunday I cant deny it…………but if you do believe me it wont be by much if they do.
More than likely this week, Atlanta is pretty focused on this game to take the Top Spot in the division and if I was a Gambler….my money would be layed on the table for Winner > Atlanta

SeenThisB4

November 11th, 2011
8:11 am

Really Michael? Wow, that’s a shocker, you’re putting your money on the falcan’ts. Who knew?!

Well, gotta board a plane, but I should be back online soon.

Mister.Earl

November 11th, 2011
8:38 am

Two Words

Jimmy Graham.

Damage Inc.

November 11th, 2011
8:41 am

STB4- I don’t think we need to worry much about Sproles or Brees. They can’t do much harm on the sidelines watching the Falcons run the ball down their throat. I bet even the midget gets a TD this week.

falconatic

November 11th, 2011
8:44 am

the aints are going to regret they existed Sunday!!!!

falconatic

November 11th, 2011
8:47 am

Drew Greeze will be injured in this game!!!!

Saints R.E.A.M.

November 11th, 2011
8:47 am

Nothing like being in the GA dome…watching the Saints score an early touchdown…in front of just a few sorry Falcon Fans….then as the others come late to the game they are disgusted by the score already!! Then after the 3rd quarter they are heading out “trying to beat traffic”. SORRY FANBASE!!!

The GA Dome is our 2nd home!!! WHO DAT??!!?

falconatic

November 11th, 2011
8:47 am

graham will also

falconatic

November 11th, 2011
8:49 am

At least we never wore paper bags over our heads, you ugly mugs!

Damage Inc.

November 11th, 2011
8:49 am

2nd home? I know you guys like to live in domes but this is absurd.

falconatic

November 11th, 2011
8:50 am

Remember Seattle???

Tony N

November 11th, 2011
8:51 am

WHOOOO! Falcons for a big win sunday

Saints R.E.A.M.

November 11th, 2011
8:53 am

Remember Greenbay twice…at your dome???

Saints R.E.A.M.

November 11th, 2011
8:54 am

Remember the Saints winning 8 out of our last 10 matchups against the falcons???

Damage Inc.

November 11th, 2011
8:54 am

remember your first loss of the year?

Run4ever

November 11th, 2011
8:55 am

It’s going to come down to the coaches. Yes, execution-without question, will be key. This is the game to watch-as it will indicate which team has the will to win. Falcons 41 Saints 27. Allright, I padded a little, but not much. You have to realized that there will be a wave to ride-and that wave seems to continue rolling. We’ll need to have this many points for the Falcons D to usher the Saints into an under 30-final.

Damage Inc.

November 11th, 2011
8:55 am

remember the Rams only win this year?

Saints R.E.A.M.

November 11th, 2011
8:56 am

Remember us showing the league the “blueprint” on how to beat you guys last year? Then taking a picture on your logo?

I knew after we beat you last year your hearts were broken and you would have no chance in the playoffs.

Saints R.E.A.M.

November 11th, 2011
8:59 am

Have the Falcons scored 40 points this year against anyone??? ….Nope…that water is too deep for the Falcons…

falconatic

November 11th, 2011
8:59 am

remember Marshon Lynch?

Damage Inc.

November 11th, 2011
8:59 am

Boy yall sure carried all that momentum into Seattle huh?

falconatic

November 11th, 2011
9:00 am

remember Steven Jackson?

Saints R.E.A.M.

November 11th, 2011
9:01 am

I expect this to be a close game…….Saints 35 Falcons: 17.

Turner will have 85 yds so you’ll have to depend on ICE…. Matt Ryan will struggle and throw the game away….he does that under pressure.

Damage Inc.

November 11th, 2011
9:01 am

Nope. haven’t scored 40. Haven’t lost to a winless team either.

Saints R.E.A.M.

November 11th, 2011
9:02 am

Yes I remember Steve Jackson & Marshawn Lynch….but….they don’t play for the Falcons…unless you traded your remaining picks for the next 6 years to get them (as Dimitroff likes to do).

Saints R.E.A.M.

November 11th, 2011
9:04 am

Good news for you is that we don’t have Reggie Bush!! Bad news is that we have Darren Sproles. It’s gonna be a fun game to watch because you guys struggle against teams that can open it up offensively.

Damage Inc.

November 11th, 2011
9:07 am

Sproles? We have a midget too. Bet you get to see him on the highlight reel.

dawgforlife

November 11th, 2011
9:08 am

I will admit the Saints have a good team and have the potential to win…now, I challenge any Saints fan to admit the Falcons are a good football team which also has the potential to win…they won’t do it…that is what I can’t stand about them…not only do they cheer for their team, they see the need to put everyone else down…the players have mutual respect for each other..I wish the fans on both sides were as intelligent…no they don’t like each other; but, they do have respect.

Michael M.

November 11th, 2011
9:08 am

@Run4ever

You did not Pad that score….you more than likely predicted the actual score. Turner is on key to break Gerald Riggs records ………he will be tough to tackle this Sunday and the Saints have not seen Quizz in a game who I call Mighty Mouse…….the running game will be dominate for the Falcons…..Speed and Power !
Saints Fans like to cut down Matty Ice and say he cant pass but The Birds are not a one-dimensional football team as the Saints are who have to rely on Breeze to keep the offense jump started. Atlanta can score on defense, on kick or punt returns and on turnovers. If Atlanta gets the run game started and mix in the pass and defense gets after Breeze……….we all know what the final score will be .

welikebaseball2

November 11th, 2011
9:08 am

Boy, for the Aints fans to “not be worried about us,” I find it hilarious that they’ve already saturated a blog that was just posted. Oh well, when your team is old & the window is closing rapidly & all you have to hold to is the fact that, while you’re not the reigning champs (which is what matters most), you ONCE won a championship, & the year after winning your ONE championship you were reduced to a wild card (& subsequently eliminated by a losing-record team)…I guess that’s all you got. Really, you guys are looking more & more desperate by the post. It’s getting to be pretty sad actually. If you weren’t so annoying, I might even feel sorry for you.