Matchup: Falcons’ Dline vs. Saints’ Oline

Nov. 13, 2011 - Atlanta: ---WINNING KICK --- Dejected Atlanta Falcons Jonathan Babineaux, left, and John Abraham, right, walk of the field after the winning field goal kick by New Orleans Saints John Kasay for a 26-23 Saints victory in overtime at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Nov. 13, 2011 - Atlanta: ---WINNING KICK --- Dejected Atlanta Falcons Jonathan Babineaux, left, and John Abraham, right, walk of the field after the winning field goal kick by New Orleans Saints John Kasay for a 26-23 Saints victory in overtime at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH –  With the NFC South title on the line, the Falcons (9-5) face the New Orleans Saints (11-3). on Monday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Here is a look at how the Falcons’ defensive line matches up against the Saints’ offensive line:

Matchup Advantage: New Orleans Saints

What happened last time: The Falcons stopped the run, holding the Saints to 41 yards rushing on 16 carries. The Falcons went sackless and had just two quarterbacks hurries against Brees, who passed for 322 yards and two touchdowns. Kansas City was able to get Aaron Rodgers to stop the Packers. The Falcons have to get sacks to beat the Saints. They seem to settle for moving him off of his spot, but in the last game they didn’t even do that.

Falcons’ starters: Right end John Abraham, right tackle Jonathan Babineaux, left tackle Corey Peters and left end Ray Edwards.

Falcons’ key reserves: Ends Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury, and tackles Peria Jerry and Vance Walker.

Saints’ starters: Left tackle Jermon Bushrod, left guard Carl Nicks, center Brian de la Puente, right guard Jahri Evans and right tackle Zach Strief.

Saints’ key reserves: Center/guard Matt Tennant and tackles Pat McQuistan and William Robinson.

Matchups to watch: Abraham vs. Bushrod and Peters vs. Evans.

Abraham is coming off a monster 3 1/2-sack game and has played stronger over the past three games. Bushrod is a critical part of a unit that protects quarterback Drew Brees like he’s a Brink’s truck.

The Falcons have 30 sacks which ranks 19th in the league. The Saints’ line has given up only 23 sacks which is the fourth-lowest total in the league.

Evans and Nicks both went to the Pro Bowl last year and are widely considered the best guard tandem in the league. But the development of Bushrod and steady play of Strief have been impressive this season.

“Bushrod was a starter last year,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “Strief was their extra offensive lineman in their ‘big’ package. He’s a guy that has stepped into a starting role this year. Again, they’ve done a very good job with protecting the quarterback and also running the football with their run blocking.”

The Saints have a major weight advantage over the smaller and quicker Falcons. Bushrod (315) is 42 pounds heavier than Abraham, Nicks (343) is 43 pounds heavier than Babineaux, Evans (318) is 13 pounds heavier than Peters and Strief (320) is 42 pounds heavier than Edwards.

“It’s a big offensive line,” Smith said. “The two guards and the two tackles are really big men and they’ve done a very good job. I think you can see by the statistics that they’ve put up, not only scoring but passing and rushing yards.”

The unit has been sturdy over the last six games after giving up six sacks in the Saints’ upset 31-21 loss to St. Louis on Oct. 30.

Behind the line, the Saints are averaging 456.7 yards per game (first in the league), 331.4 yards passing (first) and 125.4 rushing (eighth).

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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178 comments Add your comment

gem

December 21st, 2011
6:37 am

Is it Monday yet? Go Falcons!

GO BIRDS

December 21st, 2011
6:47 am

Enter your comments here

SeenThisB4

December 21st, 2011
6:48 am

From that write up,: Advantage Saints. In Edward’s career, he is still to lay a hand on Brees, except for the after game hand shake that is!

Michael M.

December 21st, 2011
6:55 am

Falcons gonna stomp the Saints butts !

SeenThisB4

December 21st, 2011
7:06 am

4th and 1 foot! Who got stomped?

Michael M.

December 21st, 2011
7:14 am

Jags just a tune-up for the for ” Monday Night Maul “

SeenThisB4

December 21st, 2011
7:18 am

seaux was the vikes game….. stopped on 4th and a foot, on your own 29 yard….i.e. Smith knew his defense couldn’t stop Brees.

GEAUX SAINTS!

Michael M.

December 21st, 2011
7:22 am

Falcons will get er done this go round. put the other game behind you because it won’t make a hill of beans in this one.

Ed

December 21st, 2011
7:38 am

Abraham and Edwards need to have big games and get Brees on the ground. My hope is that the secondary will much improved with the return of Brent Grimes.

Peion Deion

December 21st, 2011
7:48 am

Short & sweet: Brees vs. Falcons secondary= game over! Abe no sacks for you, this aint the Jags!!! Saints 37, Birds 17

hooper

December 21st, 2011
7:55 am

8 comments so far, 3 of which are from a Saints troll. I’m telling you, these guys have nothing to do and are a drain on taxpayers. GO BACK HOME.

Spoon Jones

December 21st, 2011
8:20 am

come on atl lets pull this off

Mister.Earl

December 21st, 2011
8:21 am

The past six games in the series have been decided by eight points or less, including the Saints’ 26-23 overtime victory at Atlanta on Nov. 13, which was ultimately decided by New Orleans’ fourth-and-1 stop in Falcons territory in overtime.

The Saints have too many weapons on offense to be covered by the shrimpy Falcon’s defensive backfield. They are simply outnumbered and out-talented.

What kind of name is Dunta anyway?

Dunta?

C’mon Man!

THE INFAMOUS DK

December 21st, 2011
8:34 am

Why do ya’ll even talk to Aints fans. They’re not worthy.

Mister.Earl

December 21st, 2011
8:44 am

Infamous DK – three quality running backs (Chris Ivory, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas) beat one quality running back (Turner) every day of the week.

What kinda name is Jacquizz anyway?

Pass The Popcorn

Marcus

December 21st, 2011
8:45 am

DOL,
Sidenote: In the long run, what are the Falcons looking to do in 2012 draft to close gap with NFC top teams?

TE ? (Missed out/passed on Gronkowski/A. Hernandez/J. Graham in 2010, there are a couple of choice options in 2012)
DE? (Money spent on R. Edwards seems to put this one lower, but Abe won’t live or be as productive as his Biblical counterpart)
WLB ? (Petersen is ballin’ as Nicholas’ sub, but if we get another dynamic LB to bookend ‘Spoon …. lights out baby)
LT ? (S. Baker may not be long for ATL, Svitek is playing but a talent uprgade here, or even a position change by an existing OL and drafting a 2nd round grade Guard ….)
DB ? (Saints, PHI, GB and to some extent DAL can go 3-4 WRs wide and spread us thin … will C. Owens and D. Franks come up, and D. Robinson live up to the contract or do we need to snag a near-starter quality DB in 2nd round to combat the likes of A. Rodgers/D. Brees/T. Romo/E. Manning??!)

SINCE66

December 21st, 2011
8:45 am

Looks bad for the visiting team.

Jill Farria

December 21st, 2011
8:52 am

hooper…reading your comment….U are not a true football fan..I am a FEMALE Die-Hard Saints Fan….and I am at work…in New Orleans….this is about FOOTBALL….but I guess it’s PERSONAL for you….HATER!!!!!

GO SAINTS!!!

Jill

December 21st, 2011
8:55 am

It doesn’t get any better than this…it’s going down in New Orleans on Monday Night….

FalconDawg

December 21st, 2011
8:57 am

I agree with you DK. Besides, history shows that if the Saints win, the trolls won’t be heard from for a while.

MRNO

December 21st, 2011
8:58 am

I would rather be a AINT than a FAL CAN’T!!!!

TROLL

December 21st, 2011
9:06 am

SAINTS FANS /They say we are TROLLING / that’s cool /Monday night we will be CONTROLLING!/ Sorry, Falcon Fans /I am feeling good about this Monday Night game!!

pkh

December 21st, 2011
9:08 am

hooper

December 21st, 2011
9:08 am

Jill, yes I hate Saints fans as a group. Sorry, you all just fit a certain stereotype. Oh, and why are you so fascinated with another team’s site? Does your boss know you’re surfing the internet? Any way you can call all of your transplanted cousins and tell them to come back home?

SAINTSATION

December 21st, 2011
9:13 am

The game isn’t until Monday Night, but I feel a COOL BREES flowing through Atlanta right now!!

GO BREES!
WHO DAT!
SAINTS!

jill

December 21st, 2011
9:18 am

hooper….you just made me feel real good…at least you can’t stereotype me as being ignorant…you have proved that you are! If you are not talking football..don’t chat back at me

Michael M.

December 21st, 2011
9:18 am

Its called in=breeding hooper………………just joking sissys

SlyDog55

December 21st, 2011
9:19 am

I love reading this stuff! Aints fans are seaux funny! Go Falcons!

Michael M.

December 21st, 2011
9:19 am

Must be nice playing on the internet at work, getting paid to play……lol….I never did !

Michael M.

December 21st, 2011
9:21 am

dats right ( < stoled from Aints dictionary) ———– " Gooooo Falcons ! "

Mister.Earl

December 21st, 2011
9:22 am

hooper – I noticed you didn’t have anything to say about the nuance or comparative stats from a football point of view. When people (Saints OR Falcons supporters) resort to insults it indicates they have nothing of substance to the conversation.

With that said, let’s clean the slate of the childish antics and talk some freakin’ football.

FACT

The Falcons defensive backfield is outclassed and outnumbered. Advantage – Cafe DuMonde beignets

The Saints Jon Vilma is still not 100 per cent and Tony Gonzalez is hungry. Advantage So So Def Records

Drew Brees is a family man, has a Super Bowl under his belt, could marry my sister, stars on spots for NyQuill and ESPN. Matt Ryan had one spot for Air Tran. Advantage – Jazz Fess

The MB Superdome is a classier joint than the Georgia Dome. Advantage – Real Housewives of Atlanta

New Orleans has Louis Armstrong, The Neville Brothers and Harry Connick Jr. Atlanta has Outkast and Left Eye, who torched Andre Rison’s crib. Advantage – Tyler Perry’s over-amplified and bufoonish storyline. You cannot make this stuff up

Head Coach Mike Smith vs Coach Sean Payton. Advantage – the fourth down marker.

Saints 31 Falcons 27

painter

December 21st, 2011
9:27 am

Saints fans are pathetic. But the Saints are not. They are 9-2 against us in the last 11, but our defense is improved and I’m sure we’ll gain a ton of yards on their defensive personal fouls, fair or unfair. It’s probably gonna come down to a last-minute 4th quarter drive or overtime. No call on the score, it’s too close. But go Falcons!!

Michael M.

December 21st, 2011
9:27 am

Well I am tired of talking it myself, Going to let my Football Team get out there and take care of business on MNF! You Saint fans give me a headache

later taters

Tommy

December 21st, 2011
9:27 am

Gonna have to beat Bushrod and Strief. . . pressure is the absolute key. The Chiefs showed the way to beat pass-heavy offenses. If you cannot touch the wideout downfield, disrupt the QB’s timing. Once it’s in the air you’ve lost the battle.

Mister.Earl

December 21st, 2011
9:30 am

Tommy – exactly.

Well done.

Geaux Saints!

December 21st, 2011
9:36 am

You FalCANTS fans know that the New Orleans Saints will beat the pants off of you. Trust me. We will win by at least 21 points! We are going to sack Matt Ryan and we are going to destroy your defense! Wait and see. :)

Mister.Earl

December 21st, 2011
9:40 am

Any reference to FalCANTS or AIN’TS is not considered football knowledge.

Grow up and talk football like adults.

Can anyone here describe an individual or unit matchup that will make a difference in the outcome?

Sheesh.

Geaux Saints!

December 21st, 2011
9:44 am

Mister.Earl…wow so you are trying to say that I’m immature? hahahahaha! Too funny…yeah calling names is REALLY mature…NOT!!! Yes they are the FalCANTS and the FAILcons..you know your team is sorry. Actions speaks so much louder than words. You will feel the wrath of the Brees and the SAINTS Boo…quicker than you can spell Loser! hahahahahahahaha! ;)

Old White Haired Man

December 21st, 2011
9:47 am

idiot Saints fans throwing down on each other now…

DR. FALCON

December 21st, 2011
9:52 am

I LOVE OUR D-LINE!!!! ABRAHAM AND EDWARD SHOULD HAVE A FIELD DAY ON THE EDGES! WITH EXCEPTION OF THEIR ALL-PRO GUARD, CARL NICKS, THE SAINTS O-LINE IS WEAK! BREES MAKES THEM LOOK GOOD WITH THAT QUICK RELEASE! OUR LB’S, WITHERSPOON AND LOFTON, WILL CRASH THAT O-LINE WITH BLITZES AND GAMES!

DR. FALCON

December 21st, 2011
9:55 am

SORRY HIRAMSAINT AND SEENTHISB4, NO BLOW OUT HERE! HTE NUMBERS BEAR THAT OUT. HISTORICALLY, THE PAST FEW YEARS, THESE 2 TEAMS HAVE PLAYED IT CLOSE! THE MARGIN OF VICTORY, RARELY EXCEEDS 3 TO 4 POINTS! PAYBACK IS A BITCH! WE BEAT YOU LAST YEAR AT THE SUPERDOME! REMEMBER? HOW QUICKLY WE FORGET!!!!!!!

double b

December 21st, 2011
10:11 am

SAINTS FANS HAVE CHARACTER ISSUES, NEVER REALIZED HOW BORING IT MUST BE TO BE AN AINTS FAN WAKE UP AT 648 AM AND IF UR IN THE NO THEN 548 AM TO WRITE ON FALCONS BLOGS, REALLY?????????!!!!!!! SANTA SHOULD FILL YOUR STOCKING UP WITH COAL!!!!!!! I LOVE MY TEAM AND HAVE RESPECT FOR THE TEAM, BUT FOR THE FANS IT SEEMS LIKE THEY SWITCHED THERE LOVE FROM STAR TRECK TO FOOTBALL ONCE THE AINTS ONE A SB, CONGRATS U WON IT!!!!!!!!!!!! NOW GET A EFFING LIFE AND KEEP UP WITH UR OWN TEAM!!!!! GO FALCONS

Mister.Earl

December 21st, 2011
10:14 am

Geaux Saints! – scroll back and read the beginning of this thread.

Sheesh.

Mister.Earl

December 21st, 2011
10:19 am

Speaking of the Saints OLine, Happy Birthday Mark Ingram.

His turf toe is a recurring problem. Thank goodness for Chris Ivory.

Mister.Earl

December 21st, 2011
10:23 am

FUN FACT

New Orleans running back Darren Sproles leads the league with 651 yards after the catch. That’s not even the amazing part because Sproles has been in the lead or near it in this category much of the season.

Here’s the really amazing part. Sproles only has 659 total receiving yards.

In fact, fellow New Orleans running back Pierre Thomas also falls into this category. Thomas is No. 12 in the league with 439 yards after the catch. Yet, Thomas only has 385 total receiving yards.

For the record, Sproles has 79 receptions. He’s averaging 8.3 yards per reception and 8.2 yards after the catch. Guess that tells us a lot about how the Saints use their running backs to make plays in the passing game.

david

December 21st, 2011
10:30 am

the birds are on a roll, we will win on monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Noneya

December 21st, 2011
10:32 am

D man

December 21st, 2011
10:34 am

Brees is still getting older. Almost retired and will be going DOWN HILL from here. Tick tock tick tock. That’s the sound of Brees getting older and Ryan getting better. The Falcons will be great for years to come and the Saints will be looking forward to next Springs draft for years to come. GO FALCONS!!!

BillyBob

December 21st, 2011
10:36 am

Not that anyone cares but when I see all caps, I immediately scroll down past that post, never read em!

AlanFalcon

December 21st, 2011
10:39 am

The only way the Falcons will stop the Saints and win the game is to dirupt the timing of Drew Brees thru a sucessful pass rush, sacks and all. If BVG plays his ever loven been don’t break (an they always break) our falcons will be dead ducks-BLITZ, BLITZ, BLITZ.