Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#259 Atlanta Falcons 50.5 vs.
#260 New Orleans Saints -14
Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 1:00pm EST
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#259 Atlanta
#260 New Orleans
1-7
7-1
1-6-1
6-2
3-5
4-4
20
24
31
19

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: November 10, 2019, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA, 1:00 PM ET

The Atlanta Falcons head to the rollicking madhouse that is the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday for an NFC South divisional showdown with the New Orleans Saints. A bye week is the only thing separating the Falcons from six consecutive losses, including a recent 20-27 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. They’ll head on the road to take on arguably the most complete team in the NFL. With quarterback Drew Brees back behind center, the Saints steamrolled the Arizona Cardinals in a 31-9 Week 8 victory.

Ryan returns to the slumping Falcons

Don’t expect Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to sulk in the corner while his team plunges in one of the most disastrous seasons in recent memory. Few could have predicted one of the most talented rosters in the league would even be capable of struggling as much as the Falcons have this year. Echoes of that blown 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots has haunted the organization ever since.

The Falcons actually showed more fight in last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks with backup Matt Schaub behind center. Ryan was ruled out for the game with an ankle injury sustained in the previous week against the Los Angeles Rams, but he is expected to return against the Saints on Sunday. It’s a tough opponent to return against considering the Saints rank top-10 in the league in sack percentage.

Ryan looked like he was getting knocked around in a pinball machine against the Rams, and now he’ll have Saints’ pass-rushers Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport and Trey Hendrickson breathing down his neck. It’s hard to take advantage of those endless offensive weapons when the quarterback is constantly on his back.

Ryan might also be without offensive guards Jamon Brown and Wes Schweitzer, who are both listed on the injury report as questionable for the game. Running back Ito Smith could also be sidelined with a neck injury.

The Falcons’ moribund defense isn’t helping matters, either. They’ve stunk up the field so much the team has opted to move Raheem Morris back to the defensive side of the ball for a desperate fix. It could be a long day of work for Morris facing a prolific Saints offense with quarterback Drew Brees humming behind center.

Saints are ready to be contenders

Even with Teddy Bridgewater as the starting quarterback, the Saints proved how tough they were to beat. Throw Brees back into the mix, and it seems downright impossible to topple them.

I get the undefeated San Francisco 49ers are the sexy story in the league right now, but it would be foolish to overlook the Saints being the most complete team in football. They have a top-10 defensive unit paired with a high-flying offense led by one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Despite missing most of the season, Brees returned a week ago and carved up the Cardinals’ secondary for 373 passing yards and three touchdowns.

He’ll look to do the same against a Falcons’ secondary giving up an average of 266.1 passing yards per game. The Saints are also hoping to have lead tailback Alvin Kamara back on the field to add to the Falcons’ defensive misery. However, even if he does miss another game, backup Latavius Murray should have no issues running over a Falcons defense allowing 129.8 rushing yards per game on the road.

The scent of Ryan will fill the nostrils of the Saints’ ferocious defensive front. Expect them to be aggressive right out of the gates to see if they can force him into becoming a turnover machine. Teams have been able to get pressure on him fairly consistently, including the Rams racking up five sacks against him in his last outing.

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This game has buzz saw written all over it.

Even if Ryan returns, the aggressive nature of the Saints defense makes it hard to put any faith in the Falcons, particularly with the offensive line banged up. Forget about the myriad of incredible offensive weapons at Ryan’s disposal. None of that matters if the line can’t consistently protect him in the pocket.

If coach Dan Quinn’s job wasn’t on the line, he might even consider resting his starting quarterback for an extra week to be safe. The Falcons are 1-7 on the season with their playoff hopes in the trash. What’s the point of throwing Ryan to the wolves to get beat up for an extra week?

On the defensive side of the ball, there will be no stopping the Brees-led offensive train for the Saints. He’ll carve through the Falcons’ soft secondary like butter and continue his bid for a second Super Bowl ring. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome with feel like Thunderdome for the visiting Falcons. Give me the Saints in a rout on Sunday.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints (-13)

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I’m not expecting the Falcons to completely lie down against a far superior Saints team on Sunday. The fact that Ryan is so gung-ho about returning is something to take into consideration. He could have easily checked out for another week instead of throwing himself back into the fire against a terrifying defensive unit.

The Saints offense will ultimately be too much to match, but Ryan and the Falcons will find success and show some fight in this game. Their role as the rival opponent with nothing to lose should make for a quality contest. I’m taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Over (51)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.