Matchup: Falcons’ offensive line vs. Saints’ defensive line

New Orleans Saints Tom Johnson tackles Atlanta Falcons Michael Turner for a short gain during 1st half action. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

New Orleans Saints Tom Johnson tackles Atlanta Falcons Michael Turner for a short gain during 1st half action. 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) Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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

Matchup Advantage: Falcons

What happened last time: The Saints’ defensive line played a big part in holding the Falcons to 5-of-13 on third downs (31 percent) and came up with a big play on a fourth-and-inches situation in overtime. Rogers had good penetration and Smith slipped through a wide split by tight end Reggie Kelly. The Falcons generated a season-high 481 total yards, but stalled in the red zone and had to settle for three field goals.

Falcons’ starters: Left tackle Will Svitek, left guard Justin Blalock, center Todd McClure, right guard Joe Hawley and right tackle Tyson Clabo.

Falcons’ key reserves: Tackle Kirk Chambers, guard Garrett Reynolds and center Brett Romberg.

Saints’ starters: Left end Cameron Jordan, nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis and right end Will Smith.

Saints’ key reserves: Ends Junior Galette, Turk McBride and Jeff Charleston and tackles Shaun Rogers and Tom Johnson.

Matchups to watch: Hawley vs. Ellis and Svitek vs. Smith.

The current starting unit – the Falcons have used four different combinations this season — should be in better sync for this matchup with the Saints.

In the first meeting, Svitek was making his third start of the year and Hawley, who has given up 4 1/2 sacks, was making his second pro start at right guard.

After a bumpy start to the season, the unit has pulled together in pass protection. They have given up 26 sacks, which is the ninth-lowest total in the league. However, they have given up 74 quarterback hits, which ranks sixth-highest in the league.

The Saints have allowed 109.9 yards rushing per game, which ranks 13th in the league. They have generated 31 sacks, but safety Roman Harper is the team leader with 7 1/2. Smith is tops along the defensive line with 6 1/2. Galette has 4 1/2 sacks.

Jordan, a rookie who was the 24th pick overall in the first round from Cal-Berkeley, has started all 14 games, 12 at left end. He has 53 tackles, four passes defensed, one fumble recovery, but no sacks.

“He did some really good things against me last time, so I’m going to have to counter that,” Clabo said. “He’s a first-round pick, a big-time player. He will be a good challenge for me. We’ll see what happens.”

Despite not having a sack, the Falcons are impressed with Jordan.

“I think that he’s off to a really good start in his career,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “I think he’s going to be a guy that we’re going to have to contend with for a long time.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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87 comments Add your comment

Ben

December 22nd, 2011
10:36 am

First! Block that fat ass Saint D-line! Shaun Rogers is the ULTIMATE FAT ASS! HAHAHAHA

All the Saints players on the lines are FAT!

Ben

December 22nd, 2011
10:37 am

The Saints D-line will be tired after the FIRST SERIES! HAHAHAHA! Will Smith with his fat ass, and Shaun Rogers just might eat an entire McDonalds before the game and be winded with Ryan keeping his fat ass in his stance a long time doing no-huddle.

- New Orleans News

December 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

[...] Read the article: Matchup: Falcons’ offensive line vs. Saints’ defensive line – Atlanta Journal Cons… [...]

The Kitchen

December 22nd, 2011
11:15 am

I think the Falcons have a better chance of winning this matchup. It took awhile after the shorten training camp to come together and stop making mental mistakes. Saints fans seem to forget that the Falcons were never out the last game and played both the Saints and the Packers well. Let’s go Falcons!

BobDawg

December 22nd, 2011
11:15 am

We should be well rested, healthy and come out like a pack of Dawgs! Get after ‘em!

Sam

December 22nd, 2011
11:17 am

Just read that dunta called the jags receivers a joke after last week’s game. Dunta needs to shut the h up. He’s a joke and I’m sure the saints receivers will say the same about him. Thank god Brent is healthy

Bigg Don

December 22nd, 2011
11:18 am

Fifth! (What the heck is all this 1st! or 2nd! about?) Someone educate me. Do you receive a prize, penlie enhancement, I gotta know. Rikus, you are obviously not a Falcons fan. Don’t care who the “best” man is as long as it is the Falcons. It all depends on QB play of both teams. If Rayn plays like last Sunday and the second half against Carolina, we have got a punchers chance. Watch the first four plays of the game and you can tell pretty much how it’s going to play out for the rest of the game.

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
11:35 am

Romp Romp Romp= Falcons licking chops to get after them Saints

Ben

December 22nd, 2011
11:36 am

Let me get dis straight…the Saints held us to 31% on 3rd down, we missed a field goal early in the game, Roddy dropped the game winning touchdown, they stopped us on 4th and 1, Brees passed for 320+, and they STILL only beat us by 3. See how close these games are? They could LITERALLY go either way. Saints can’t and will not crush the Falcons.

Falcons will win this time.

Geaux Saints!

December 22nd, 2011
11:37 am

Wow Ben…FAT must be a word you JUST learned how to spell..Anyway did you ever look at your sorry players? The FalCANTS are out of shape. Rodriguez is old and he is also slow. Turner is a little butter ball who really can’t run fast…anyway the Saints will beat the FailCANTS this coming Monday!

GEAUX SAINTS!!!! :) ;) :)

Ben

December 22nd, 2011
11:39 am

The key to this game is get after Brees and chew up lots of clock by making Turner the feature man in this matchup. Don’t get all cute, and pass happy Falcons. Run Turner down the Saints’ throats. Eat up so much clock and then when Brees does get the ball, get after his ass. BRIAN VAN GORDER, PLEASE no 3 man rushes in this game. It WILL NOT WORK. You have to pressure Brees all game long. I’d send at least 5 at all times. ALL TIMES. SOMEBODY is going to beat their man and get to Brees. Whether it be Abraham, Babineaux, Peters, Edwards, or Spoon.

Pandora

December 22nd, 2011
11:39 am

The Saints will win again. We have NOT lost 1 game in our stadium this season and we are NOT going to lose either. There is NO WAY the Saints will allow the FalCANTS and FAILcons to beat them. No way. The FalCANTS usually always kick field goals to win a game. I don’t care how many they will kick this time they will lose big time. We are going to run all over the FalCANTS! :) GEAUX SAINTS!!!

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
11:40 am

Two Chances Saints have= Run or hide

Ben

December 22nd, 2011
11:42 am

Pandora, did you know that the Saints have never won more than 6 games at home before? Bet you didn’t. Guess what? We’ll make that trend continue.

Ben

December 22nd, 2011
11:43 am

Saints have never gone undefeated at home. BTW, Falcons have a better home record than anybody in the NFL other than the Patriots since Mike Smith has been here. Since Smith has been here, we’ve only lost 6 home games. He’s been here since 08.

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
11:45 am

Breeze back to pass= sack n fumble chomp chomp

BLACK COBRA

December 22nd, 2011
11:46 am

THIS WON’T BE A CLOSE GAME…..MNF IN DOME IS LIKE FESTIVAL TO SAINTS.

SAINTS 42 FAILCONS 27

BLACK COBRA

December 22nd, 2011
11:48 am

Drew Brees will be very eager to make a point about MVP…this will be 350 + yards passing game.

And failcons have never faced chris ivory. It will be fun to watch.

BLACK COBRA

December 22nd, 2011
11:49 am

SAINTS DEFENSE ARE AT THEIR BEST WHILE PLAYING AT DOME…so expect just FGs..

Sunny

December 22nd, 2011
11:52 am

I have really bad feeling about this game. Saints are just very different team at home this season.

I predict aints 34 falcons 20

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
11:53 am

Sean Peyton post game show = what do you think happen out there tonight ? ans: Falcons clearly better team tonight chomp chomp

Milt Olsen

December 22nd, 2011
11:55 am

It is evidently clear that the Falcons are now playing at a much higher level than any team in the NFL. Just look back at how they rebounded from the loss to the Texans and even a football novice will agree that the only team standing in the way of the Falcons are the Packers and with thier loss to KC they may be starting to come undone. The Falcons will beat the Saints probably by 41 to 28.

warfalcons

December 22nd, 2011
11:56 am

LETS GO FALCONS.

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
12:00 pm

Mike Smith post game show = Mike, what do you have to say bout tonights win ? ans: well I am extremely proud of the players and our football team and they executed well in all phases of the game and with that I will take questions. chomp chomp chomp

Sunny

December 22nd, 2011
12:00 pm

@milt olsen…dude be realistic beat a rookie QB scam newton who dominated first half and lowely jags and you think we are the best team in NFL ??? wake up..being ardent fan is different from being blind to facts.

BLACK BUTTER

December 22nd, 2011
12:01 pm

Only 1 win against a winning team, and playing in a prime time game in the Dome, where we have shred every opponent we faced. Good luck!!!! I’m sure the Falcons have will be hooping and hollering like a bunch of morons!! Pure entertainment!!

Sunny

December 22nd, 2011
12:05 pm

lets not forget saint offense have shred almost all defenses like mozzarella cheese in dome during MNF games. so just hope for the best.

Sunny

December 22nd, 2011
12:06 pm

BEATING LIONS ..a inconsistent team doesn’t make our team elite. Lets be realistic…

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
12:07 pm

Grimes post game comments = what you say about the interception return for touchdown ? Well, I got a bead on the ball and went up for it cause I think a defender got a hand on it cause it sailed funny and there was no one in front of me so I took it to the house CHOMP

JohnnyR

December 22nd, 2011
12:12 pm

You guys are nuts!! There is no way in heck the Falcan’ts go into the Dome on a Monday night and come out with a win, much less their health. The only thing that might work in your favor is if the 49ers win on Sunday against the Hawks and the Saints decide to pull back to avoid injury. Undefeated on the turf for a reason, Saints are too fast on offense and at linebacker (except for Shanle) for you Monday night!!

SAINTS#1

December 22nd, 2011
12:13 pm

falcons play at a high level verus LOSING teams..1st game the saints went to the prevent Defense an almost let the falcon win that game….It wont happen in this game…

Saints 62-falcon3

SAINTS#1

December 22nd, 2011
12:17 pm

now on to the topic,falcon o-line doesnt have an advantage verus the Saints d-line….It makes think the article was Wriiten by a Homer..

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
12:19 pm

Matt Ryan post game show= Matt you threw for 287 yards,27 of 36 , 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, what do you think contributed to the win tonight ? ans: We executed very well tonight it all started early in the game , I got Roddy a catch, Julio a catch, Tony a catch very early in the game and harry Douglas what can I say, he caught the game winner out there for us tonight.

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
12:23 pm

Final Score: Falcons 34 Saints 27 Chomp chomp chomp

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
12:27 pm

Take it from Chopper = Its a wrap

ijonathan

December 22nd, 2011
12:27 pm

@DOL…no mention of Sam Baker in the “key reserves” list for the Falcons? Maybe he’s just a “reserve” not a “key reserve?” Did Sam go under the knife again? Is he injured? I didn’t see anything. Or, is he just a forgotten, washed up, drafted-too-high, alligator arms, pudgy loser?

BLACK COBRA

December 22nd, 2011
12:29 pm

@chopper ….keep chomping you idiot.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 22nd, 2011
12:30 pm

ijonathan — Just a reserve. Should have had him as a key reserve. He’s the backup swing (guard/tackle) lineman.

BLACK COBRA

December 22nd, 2011
12:30 pm

anybody who think they can stop saints for less than 20 points in dome is a buffoon.

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
12:36 pm

The underdogs are coming to PartyTown= Monday nite Football upset special !

Chomp !

Best Blog ever about the FAILCANTS

December 22nd, 2011
12:37 pm

Author unknown. Superbly explains the Saints SUPERIORITY over the pathetic Failcants…

The Saints have now won 9 of the last 11 vs Atlanta in the modern era, with a shiny Lombardi trophy to boot. Atlanta with all its perceived superiorities–economically prosperous, classically Southern, geographically relevant–is feeling the full brunt of the rivalry’s inferiority. Wouldn’t you feel that way if the once $100-million-dollar face of your franchise went to federal prison for murdering puppies? That’s gotta leave a mark.

I mean, the Falcons overreacted so badly after last year’s postseason flameout as the #1 seed in the NFC that they essentially traded their entire draft for a WR. Panic much?

Would you be reassured by having an adult male (little Tommy) with this haircut and accompanying to-catch-a-predator ’stache running your franchise? Or would you feel uneasy, insecure, and a little bit awkward? Can you see why it’s so easy to ridicule the Falcons?

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
12:47 pm

Sainta fans are in panic mode= totally evasive behavior leading to violent emotional burst of emotions on blogs due to fustration = anxiety attacks on us due to panic button mentality which could be referenced to the severe beatdown of their team on monday night by our own underdogs aka Atlanta Falcons

Chomp chomp chomp

comncnts

December 22nd, 2011
12:49 pm

Milt, I will have some of what you are smokin.

So the Falcons after the Houson loss (a team the Saints beat with most of their starters), the Falcons have risen up scored 36 avg points, given up 19 avg points to teams that are a collective 9 W and 19 L (32%) and you think they are playing at the highest level in the NFL? The Saints have ripped off 6 wins in a row, averaging 33 points per game, allowing 19 points per game versus competition that post 38 wins and 46 losses (45%). Nothing backs up your claim other than your emotional umbilical cord.

To my troll friend , D Man – two good teams, could be close, not this time – Saints 38 Falcons 24

comncnts

December 22nd, 2011
1:04 pm

Chopper, you are a master wordsmith… “to violent emotional burst of emotions” emotional bursts of emotion, is that like a loud sound of loudness?

How does anyone panic over the results of a future event, that is not backed up by any data (Saints have won 9 of the last 11). Your insightful prose are ramblings of an emotional fan – not reasoned observations of a football fan. Enjoyable, BUTT not realistic — Saints 38 – Falcons 24

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Chopper

December 22nd, 2011
1:08 pm

Saints reeling from Upset embarrassment loss in Mercedes supa dome on Monday against underdog pick Atlanta Falcons 34-27 sends whole Team into panic mode following weekend against Panthers = A Saints Team making critical mistakes against a subpar. 500 team making beautiful touchdown throws from none other, Cam Superman Newton to win out over the Saints with still another upset causing the Saints to lose the NFC South Title, slipping out of their grasps as Atlanta seals a victory at home against the Bucs in their final game of the regular season

Chomp chomp chomp

double b

December 22nd, 2011
1:10 pm

@aints fans now that the aints have a ring yall can give your paperbags back to your wives and girlfriends

FEMA

December 22nd, 2011
1:11 pm

Dont worry low life citizens of New Orleans we are on our way to help you. We will place you in the super dome even though there is a game going on. Don’t worry about going to the restrooms. You can just go number 1 or number 2 on the field. It will be paradise compared to where you live now. We are coming.

comncnts

December 22nd, 2011
1:14 pm

and when you get your ring, you can kiss your boyfriend good night

double b

December 22nd, 2011
1:19 pm

@notcomncnts my boyfriend looks ALOT like your mom