Saints TE Jimmy Graham vs. Falcons SS William Moore and LB Sean Weatherspoon:
Tony Gonzalez can still rise up and dunk the ball.
Graham has 55 catches for 595 yards and eight touchdowns. In the team’s earlier meeting this season, on Nov. 11, with Sean Weatherspoon out because of an ankle injury, Graham abused the Falcons’ secondary. He finished with seven catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Moore was beaten on a double-move route in that game and has vowed that he will atone with stronger coverage. Weatherspoon is much better in coverage than strongside linebacker Stephen Nicholas, who covered Graham on Nov. 11.
Saints WR Lance Moore vs. Falcons CB Robert McClain or Christopher Owens: Moore, a noted Falcons-killer, is the team’s fourth leading receiver. He had seven catches for 91 yards in the previous matchup. McClain is the top nickel, but may have to slide outside to right cornerback if Asante Samuel’s injured shoulder flares up during the game. Owens, one of the Falcons’ top special-teams performers, would take over at nickel back.
Saints SS Roman Harper vs. Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez: Harper is the only Saints safety to be selected to two Pro Bowls. Harper helped hold San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis without a catch last week. He ranks second on the team with 92 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups. Gonzalez, who’s on pace for the second 100-catch season of his career, had 11 catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns Nov. 11.
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