Kristian's quick hits: Saints win in a close, whacky game
Run the ball! It's easy to fall in love with the air attack of Drew Brees and company, but the bottom line is the run sets up the pass. It always has, and it always will. For the Saints, running the football effectively might be difficult in Atlanta. The Saints are averaging 126 yards rushing this season. The Falcons are giving up 96.5 yards per game on the ground. However, even if it doesn't work right away... the Saints have to stay with it. That balance on offense virtually makes the Saints top ranked offense unstoppable. The Saints are 25 and 1 under Coach Payton when they've rushed for 125 yards or more. It's pretty hard to argue with those numbers. Last season the Saints and Falcons split two meetings by a combined 6 points.
I like the Saints to win this one 28-27. Look for a typical Saints and Falcons game with a number of big hits, whacky moments and high drama.
The hated Dirty Birds:
A fan emailed me with the top three reasons' to hate the Falcons: 1. Because they have a quarterback that gave himself the nickname "Matty Ice." 2. Just because their fans are obnoxious. 3. Because they are the "Dirty Birds". I guess those are ok. Hate is a strong word, but this is without a doubt the biggest rivalry game for the Saints. It's not Baltimore/Pittsburgh or Cowboys/Redskins , and nowhere close to Packers/Bears but it's going to be fun.
Defensive back Patrick Robinson did not practice again on Friday (stomach), he has been ruled out for Sunday's game against Atlanta. Defensive back Tracy Porter was limited (neck and chest), he's probable. Running back Mark Ingram was also limited (heel), Ingram is officially listed as probable. Running back Chris Ivory was limited (hamstring) and is questionable.