The Saints have been one of the most disappointing teams of the young NFL season. Drew Brees has to be the man to change that against the Falcons.
Drew Brees isn’t the man responsible for the Saints’ poor start to the 2018 season, but he’s still the player who has to lift Sean Payton’s squad out of the doldrums. He’ll need to play a great game this week to get his team a win over the Falcons.
The Saints come into the game at 1-1 but they’re very lucky not to be 0-2. If the Browns hadn’t well…been the Browns last week, that would certainly be their record. Their narrow win over Cleveland doesn’t change the fact that they’ve played sloppy football during the first two weeks.
Getting a road win over the Falcons on Sunday would go a long way towards erasing the team’s ugly loss to Tampa Bay to open the season. Essentially, it would allow New Orleans to reset the standings in the NFC South. Scoring a road victory over a division rival would certainly boost the mood around the Saints’ locker room.
Of course, beating the Falcons at their house is easier said than done. Atlanta has a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback of their own in the form of Matt Ryan. He too, struggled in his team’s opening loss to the Eagles, but he bounced back nicely against the Panthers. Perhaps more importantly, he did it without Julio Jones having a massive impact versus Carolina.
That’s especially good considering the fact that Jones is nursing a sore calf. He expects to play against the Saints, but it’s very possible he won’t be 100%. That’s good news for Marshon Lattimore and the rest of New Orleans’ wounded defense.
The harsh reality for the Saints is that the Falcons are going to score points in this game. Any chance New Orleans has of winning means they’ll need to triumph in a shootout. That means Brees has to be at his best.
The good news is that we’ve seen him win these sorts of games over and over again in his career. Brees isn’t the sort of player who’s going to be intimidated by the moment, atmosphere or circumstances. The Falcons are going to get his best shot.
He’s also blessed with a plethora of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Michael Thomas may have a common name, but his production is anything but ordinary. He leads the NFL in receptions and should be in line for another big game against Atlanta’s secondary.
Alvin Kamara may be even more important in this game though. The loss of Deion Jones and Keanu Neal due to injury leaves a real weakness in the middle for Dan Quinn’s defense. Kamara is more than capable of running deep pass patterns down the seam to put pressure on the Falcons’ safeties. Don’t be surprised to see the versatile running back make some big plays via the passing game in this one.
If you like points, this game is absolutely for you. Expect Brees and Ryan to both put up huge numbers. Ultimately, the Falcons get the nod here because they’re at home. That won’t bother Brees, but it will put too much pressure on the Saints defense. New Orleans will need to wait one more week before they can get back on track.