The Saints have a tough challenge ahead of them, never mind the fact they are playing the Atlanta Falcons, they are doing so on a three day turnaround from a physical beating at the hands of the 49ers. The loss to San Francisco came with a price. Wide receivers Marques Colston and Lance Moore were both evaluated for concussion type symptoms after brutal hits from Niner defenders. The Saints are also down to their fourth offensive right tackle. Players and coaches alike often say that it's not always who you play, but when you play them. That couldn't be truer this week as the Saints travel to Atlanta to battle the division leading Falcons. Plain and simple, the Saints are a banged up football team.
The good news is the Saints played the Falcons just over two weeks ago, and the players should remember clearly with what the Dirty Birds do. That's perhaps the only benefit to playing on a short week, when it's a divisional opponent there is some familiarity. The game plan won't be exactly the same, but it will be similar with some slight wrinkles here and there. The Falcons will not be in a good mood hearing "the Saints own them" talk for two weeks after New Orleans handed them their first and only loss of the season so far back on November 11th. The Saints have dominated Atlanta, going 11 and 2 against them since 2006. However, this one is a tad different. The Saints are on the road, and as I mentioned really banged up. The saints have their backs against the wall at 5 and 6, and their playoff hopes are on life support. New Orleans has to pretty much run the table and win out in the final 5 games remaining. Can they do it? Sure they're capable, but it's a tall order.
11 and 2:
There's been a ton of talk about the Saints owning the Falcons with an 11 and 2 record against Atlanta since 2006. What's more? New Orleans hasn't lost to the Falcons in the Georgia Dome since 2008. After the Saints beat the Falcons earlier this month, linebacker Scott Shanle called the Dirty Birds the "Saints little brothers." Well they need to really be the big brother in this one, or the little brother might take over and pass the big brother up in the pecking order in the NFC.
1,2,3, and 4 is the current situation for the Saints, as in four offensive right tackles this season for the Black and Gold. Zach Strief went down against Eagles with a groin injury. Charles Brown replaced him and suffered a leg injury in the win over the Raiders. Bryce Harris was forced into action, starting against San Francisco, and he promptly went down with a lower leg injury. Coach Joe Vitt says Harris will not play this week against the Falcons. Vitt also said that Strief is close to being ready to play. If Strief can't go, it will be on Williams Robinson, who signed with the team less than a week ago and filled in against the 49ers.