The Falcons will have a chance for revenge against the one team that has beaten them this season. The Saints defeated the Falcons just a few weeks back to keep their season alive. After losing last week to San Francisco, another loss could take them out of the playoffs entirely. Playing a short week against a bitter rival may be too much to overcome. Still, you can’t rule out Drew Brees just yet, and when there is still a chance, he will give it his all to find a way.
Atlanta could be without Asante Samuel for this one. He aggravated his shoulder injury a couple times last week in the win against Tampa Bay. He is currently considered a game time call and the Falcons would be smart to rest him. With a 10-1 record, pressing one of their most talented players on defense back from injury seems a bit foolish. This game is certainly important with home field advantage still on the line, but with Brent Grimes already last for the year, Samuel will be extremely important come playoff time.
The Saints recently got Darren Sproles back. He hasn’t been much of a factor in the running game at all this season, but has been used heavily out of the backfield in the passing game. He adds another dimension to the passing game that already has Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore, and Marques Colston. The team hasn’t played especially well with him in the lineup, but it may be unfair to put the blame on Sproles. Still, it makes sense that the Saints operate better with a more traditional running attack. It has become fairly obvious that Sproles will not carry the ball out of the backfield, so when he is in the lineup you can bet pass most scenarios.
New Orleans is still a hot team. They have won 3 of their last 4 and 5 of their last 7. With a menacing schedule ahead they can’t afford to slack off for a second. Expect a heavy dose of Brees, but the running game was a critical factor in last game. It is hard to say how much Sproles will change that, but the Saints would be smart to get Ivory and Ingram the ball a decent amount. In the end though it will come down to Ryan v. Brees and which QB can lead their team to victory.