Week 12 brings an air of anticipation as bold predictions emerge for the New Orleans Saints in their faceoff against the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams, well-rested from a bye week, are poised for a critical showdown that will significantly impact the NFC South division race. This piece delves into the Saints' season thus far, highlighting their record and dissecting their Week 10 defeat against the Minnesota Vikings. As the Saints gear up to confront the Falcons, explore these daring forecasts that could inject an additional element of complexity into their forthcoming challenges.
Saints Lost in Week 10
Navigating a season marked by highs and lows, the Saints enter Week 12 with a 5-5 record. The initial triumphs against the Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, and New England Patriots set a promising tone. However, setbacks ensued with losses to the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars. Momentum swung back in their favor with victories over the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears, only to face a challenging defeat against the Vikings in Week 10.
In the clash with the Vikings, offensive struggles plagued the Saints. This was compounded by quarterback Derek Carr's concussion protocol. Backup quarterback Jameis Winston faced difficulties advancing the ball, and the Saints' defense faltered against the Vikings' offensive onslaught. The final score tipped in favor of the Vikings at 27-19, marking a challenging chapter for the Saints in Week 10.
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Here are our four bold predictions for the New Orleans Saints as they face the Atlanta Falcons in the Week 12 matchup of the 2023 NFL season.
The Saints have given quarterback Derek Carr a clean bill of health. They have removed him from the Week 12 injury report on Thursday. Following a Week 11 bye, Carr's recovery from the concussion sustained in Week 10 ensures he won't miss any playing time. However, the Saints face the challenge of operating without wide receiver Michael Thomas. He has been placed on injured reserve for at least the next four games. Despite this setback, Carr is set for a favorable matchup against the Falcons' defense on Sunday. That's a unit that has allowed the third-highest number of combined touchdowns (21) to opposing quarterbacks this season. As such, Carr should record over 220 passing yards with at least one touchdown.
Kamara's Dual Threat
In the Week 10 loss to the Vikings, Alvin Kamara showcased his versatility. He rushed nine times for 42 yards and secured seven receptions on seven targets for an additional 33 yards. Despite leading the team in carries and displaying efficiency on the ground, the Saints' deficit throughout the game shifted the bulk of Kamara's contributions to the passing game. Sure, he didn't achieve explosive gains. Still, Kamara managed to accrue at least 75 total yards from scrimmage for the sixth time in the first seven games of the season. He'll do that again here. We have him going over 80 combined yards from scrimmage against the Falcons.
Chris Olave's performance in Week 10 was a standout. He recorded six receptions on nine targets for 94 yards and a touchdown. Although he wasn't targeted in the first half, Olave flourished in the final two quarters. This was particularly true with Winston at quarterback. The majority of his catches, including long gains of 26, 20, and 17 yards, came from Winston's throws. The highlight of Olave's day occurred in the third quarter when he leaped above Byron Murphy. He even tapped his toes in the end zone for his third touchdown of the season. His 94 yards marked his highest single-game total since Week 6. With Thomas out, look for Olave to shine once more. We have him reaching 80-plus yards in this game.
Chris Olave Today:
The saints keep sole possession of first place in the NFC South.🔥 pic.twitter.com/MeOY1aHuS6
— ⚜️|R||J|⚜️ (@RJ9daGoat) November 19, 2023
Saints Regrouping Post Bye
Entering Week 12 fresh off a bye, the Saints find themselves at a crucial juncture. This is especially true with Derek Carr cleared from concussion protocol. The offense, which has been gaining momentum in recent weeks, faces the challenge of missing Michael Thomas. A healthy squad is crucial for widening the division lead. With Carr deemed 100 percent fit, the Saints hold an advantage. This is also given the Falcons' inconsistent offensive performance under their coaching staff. With a three-game winning streak against Atlanta, the Saints, despite their season-long inconsistency, rely on a defense that has kept them competitive. They have allowed an average of around 20 points per game. That's bad news for ATL. We have the Saints winning this one.
As the New Orleans Saints gear up for Week 12, the resolution of Derek Carr's concussion concerns provides a boost to their offensive stability. Despite the absence of Michael Thomas, the team faces a favorable matchup against the Falcons' defense. This offers an opportunity to exploit their vulnerabilities. Alvin Kamara's multi-faceted contributions and Chris Olave's standout performance signal potential avenues for success. These underscore the team's resilience amidst challenges. With a well-timed bye week behind them, the Saints aim to capitalize on a healthier roster and extend their three-game winning streak against the Falcons. As the NFC South division race intensifies, the Saints' capacity to maintain defensive prowess and capitalize on offensive opportunities will likely play a pivotal role in their quest for sustained success in the remainder of the season.