The New Orleans Saints will visit the Atlanta Falcons for a Thursday night game. The game which will be played in the Georgia Dome has an 8:20 p.m. EST kickoff.
While the two teams are on opposite sides of the playoff race this one figures to be a lot closer then the teams individual records. The Saints have been vastly improved since the return of interim coach Joe Vitt but they lost a heart breaker to San Francisco on Sunday. The loss dropped the Saints to 5-6 which means they again need help in order to claim a Wild Card spot.
The Falcons are 10-1 this season. Their lone loss was against this Saints team in Week 10. That game was played in the Superdome, this time the Falcons will have home field advantage. Losing at home is something that the Falcons have not done often with Matt Ryan as their quarterback. (31 wins, 4 losses) Despite that stat the Falcons have hardly have seemed like a 10-1 team the last two weeks. They defeated two inferior teams in Arizona and Tampa Bay by a combined five points.
So who is favored in the football game between the Saints and Falcons? The Falcons are 3.5 point favorites for Thursday nights game. The over/under or total points for the game is set at 55.5
The Saints have a shot to win this game with the ground pounding of Chris Ivory. Atlanta is one of the weaker teams in the league against the run allowing a whopping 4.8 yards per carry. In Week 10 the Saints benefited from a long run by Ivory at the start of the game which allowed them to open up the passing game.
Atlanta has not operated as well on the ground of late. Michael Turner looks ordinary and if the Falcons are to win this game it will be because Ryan and receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones take advantage of their size advantage against the Saints corners. Tight end Tony Gonzalez also figures to be targeted often in Thursdays game. Ryan threw for 411 yards in the last match-up between the two teams.