While the Saints are favored to win the game, the team’s offense is going to look much different since superstar quarterback Drew Brees is out with five broken ribs and a collapsed right lung. New Orleans will be starting Taysom Hill over Jameis Winston, and everyone is looking forward to seeing what Hill can do as the full-time QB instead of his usual role as a gadget guy.
The Falcons, who have one of the best offenses in the NFL with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones leading the way, are coming off their bye week in Week 10. Atlanta enters the Saints game on a two-game winning streak. They defeated the Carolina Panthers in Week 8 and the Denver Broncos in Week 9.
With the Saints-Falcons game almost here, let’s take a look at four bold predictions for the contest from a New Orleans point of view.
1. Taysom Hill throws one touchdown, runs for two
The Falcons game is Hill’s opportunity to show the world he’s a legit starting quarterback in the NFL and not just a runner and pass catcher.
Hill has never thrown a touchdown pass in his career. We have that changing against the Falcons since he’s going to be the full-time guy under center. Hill will also score two touchdowns on the ground. Saints head coach Sean Payton is probably going to be running a lot of read-pass option plays with Hill and star running back Alvin Kamara, which is going to leave the Falcons’ defense guessing at every turn.
Atlanta is giving up 27.9 points per game on the season. They have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, so guys like Hill, Kamara and Michael Thomas have to be salivating at the thought of going up against the Falcons.
If you have Hill on your fantasy team, make sure he is starting because the 30-year-old is set up to get a lot of points for you in Week 11 through the air and ground.
2. Alvin Kamara records 100 yards from scrimmage
While Kamara is dealing with a foot injury, the do-it-all running back will suit up since he’s one of the toughest players in the NFL. This is obviously great news for a Saints team that relies so much on his elite production.
In nine games this season for the Saints, Kamara has racked up 486 yards on the ground and 648 through the air. He has seven rushing touchdowns and four receiving scores. Kamara is undoubtedly the most versatile offensive player in the NFL, and the Saints will likely be using him as a workhorse in Week 11 since Hill is making his first career start at quarterback.
In six career games against the Falcons, Kamara has surprisingly never scored a touchdown. While we can’t guarantee he’ll score in Week 11, look for the Pro Bowler to rack up 100 yards from scrimmage and make life miserable for the bad Falcons’ defense, which could be rusty since they are coming off their bye week.
3. Saints struggle to stop Falcons
The Falcons may only be 3-6, but Ryan and Jones are still two of the best players in the NFL. Atlanta is averaging 27.0 points per game on the season, and Ryan has passed for 2,746 yards and thrown for 15 touchdowns.
Jones, meanwhile, has 43 receptions for 638 yards and three scores. We can see the Saints’ defense having trouble stopping the Falcons’ offense since Jones has a history of playing really well versus New Orleans.
This game between the Falcons and Saints has all the makings of being a shootout from start to finish. It should make for good television.
4. Saints defeat Falcons to improve to 8-2
Despite Brees being out and Kamara being banged up, we trust Payton and his offensive schemes even though Hill is unproven as a passer.
With that being said, we have the Saints defeating the Falcons in Week 11 and improving to an impressive 8-2 on the season. The team knows it has a really good shot of securing the No. 1 seed in the NFC and getting home-field advantage.
Since no one knows when Brees is going to come back and if he’s going to be close to 100 percent again, the Saints are hoping to get that No. 1 seed so they only have to win two games in the playoffs to reach the Super Bowl.
The Falcons, despite having a lethal offense, aren’t a good football team. The Saints should win this game in a high-scoring affair despite the absence of their Hall of Fame QB.