The New Orleans Saints are on a roll coming off their Bye Week in Week 9. They are 7-1 and have won six straight games. The return of Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees brings even more momentum into the situation for the Saints.
Now they face a divisional opponent in Week 10, and that’s always a challenge. The Atlanta Falcons are 1-7 on the year. As if that’s not disappointing enough, they were meant to be one of the best teams in the NFL in 2019.
However, they have lost quite a few close ones and NFC South games are always entertaining.
So what will New Orleans need to do to win? Here are four reasons why the Saints will beat the Falcons in Week 10.
As mentioned already, the Saints have won six games in a row. Adding Brees back into the mix only adds fuel to that fire.
Meanwhile, the Falcons have lost six in a row. Oh, and their star quarterback (Matt Ryan) might still be out with an injury.
The two teams could not be further from each other at the moment. That momentum (or lack thereof in regards to the Falcons) could play a major part in this game.
The Falcons and Saints have a long history with each other. Due to that, the team that is having a better season doesn’t have things locked up heading into a game. Even when the seasons are going so differently.
However, this is advanced momentum right here. Everything is going right for the Saints. Meanwhile, it seems like the Falcons could not catch a break if their lives depended on it.
If the momentum continues that way, this might be more than a win for New Orleans. This could be a blowout.
3. Drew Brees
New Orleans lost their superstar quarterback very early in the year. When that happened, many expected them to fall off significantly. Maybe they could stay afloat, but they certainly wouldn’t be in a great spot by the time he returned.
Instead, Teddy Bridgewater came in and played phenomenally. While he was the starting quarterback, the team went 5-0.
So by the time Brees returned, the Saints were holding onto a 6-1 record. In his return, Brees reminded everyone just how good he is. He threw for 383 yards and three touchdowns in a blowout win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Yes, Bridgewater was great and the team played phenomenally while he was the starter. However, not many can live up to Brees.
With that in mind, this is far from a knock on Bridgewater. It’s just that we are talking about Brees here. The team is going to play its best while he’s at quarterback. He has a fantastic rapport with his weapons and has led the Saints to more-than-enough wins to prove just how dangerous he is.
When Brees is in, the offense is a well-oiled machine and you should consider yourself lucky if you can contain it.
With Brees back, it’s hard to bet against the Saints in any game.
2. Giving Up?
Are the Falcons giving up? They traded star wide receiver Mohamed Sanu already. Meanwhile, star safety Keanu Neal is already on the injured reserve.
At 1-7, they might start being extra cautious with certain players to keep from having to add more big names to the IR.
That leads us to the injury report this week. Quarterback Matt Ryan is questionable. So is cornerback Desmond Trufant. Two starting offensive linemen (guards Jamon Brown and James Carpenter) are questionable as well.
Do the Falcons decide that playing them in a game against a 7-1 team simply isn’t worth it?
No team is going to completely throw in the towel. By that I mean, they won’t bench Julio Jones for no reason (or any other big names) and the players on the field and the coaching staff will do everything they can to win.
However, they might start making small concessions. Sitting Ryan to make sure he’s 100% could be one of them. Why play him while he’s still ailing and risk something serious happening. If the Falcons decide to call the season, those types of decisions might be made. That will make things that much easier for the Saints in Week 10.
1. Battle in the Trenches
New Orleans has had one of the best pass protections all year. They have allowed just 12 sacks in 2019 (third fewest in the NFL).
At the same time, Atlanta has had the single worst pass rush all season. They have seven sacks in 2019 (the fewest in the NFL). There really isn’t much that needs to be said here, because it’s pretty obvious. If you can’t get to Brees, you’re going to have a bad time.
The Saints have shown all year that they won’t let their quarterback get sacked much. Meanwhile, the Falcons have shown they won’t get to the quarterback much. That’s a mixture that works in the favor of New Orleans heavily. And it will likely factor in to them winning in Week 10 and moving to 8-1 on the year.