NFL Preview: Atlanta vs New Orleans

Too bad the New Orleans Saints (10-4) didn’t cooperate and lost 30-24 to the Baltimore Ravens last week. Otherwise, their match-up against the NFC South leading Atlanta Falcons (12-2) in week 16 of the NFL season would have been the match-up of the year. The game still could be, though, as the Falcons need a win to wrap-up the division title and home field advantage for all of the NFC playoffs. Atlanta is on an 8-game winning streak, though most games have come down to the wire, resting on the steady hand of quarterback Matt Ryan. Ryan has had a stellar season, throwing for 3,321 yards and 25 touchdowns, including 8 to Roddy White, who also has 106 catches. White’s Tweet about Hurricane Kristina this week got him in hot water but he won’t feel any heat in the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome. The loss to the Ravens was disappointing for the World Champs since they had fought back to tie the score in the fourth quarter. Their defense could not stop Ray Rice and they could have a hard time handling Atlanta’s Michael Turner, who has the same type of lethal power and speed as Rice. Drew Brees has thrown a whopping 571 times, with 4,122 yards and 31 TDs. He could have success against a beatable Atlanta secondary, though the Falcons have given-up only 261 points. Atlanta is favored by -2 ½ points but this game is a toss-up as two tough teams battle for playoff positioning.

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