Without the benefit of a lot of practice time, both the Saints and Falcons will rely on what they do well - and not particularly game planning - in tonight's game. The Saints were very successful offensively in the week 10 match against the Dirty Birds up in the Superdome, running and throwing the football. The Falcons, however, couldn't get their running game going in the last meeting. I would expect the Falcons to come out trying to get that established tonight. Drew Brees told me this game will be about "reacting to what you're getting and making quick adjustments." Coach Joe Vitt echoed similar thoughts, "This game will be about execution, and physicality more so than game planning." The Saints have the advantage in this area.
William Robinson will get the start at right offensive tackle if Zach Strief (groin) can not play tonight against the Dirty Birds. Strief is officially listed as questionable. Vitt said, "We have a couple of options if that's the case." Vitt didn't elaborate on those options, but you can expect the offense to chip on coming rushers with a back and some double teams from the tight end position. If New Orleans can run the football well tonight, it will go a long way in helping Will Robinson in pass protection.
The Saints have owned the falcons (11-2) since Brees and Payton arrived in New Orleans. That includes the 31 to 27 week 10 Saints win this season. For that reason, I'm picking the Falcons. They're just due. Atlanta can clinch the division tonight with a win over the Saints. I don't like it, but I see this ending with the Falcons winning 34-30 in another close one over New Orleans.