As usual, the week's best matchups will come later in the week. Today, it's more of a question.
Last week, the Falcons dismantled the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive line, coming up with four sacks and another one that was called back due to a penalty. They also had a good showing against the Panthers, getting pressure in the second half.
Brees has been on fire the last several weeks, chasing Dan Marino's single season yardage record, tossing gobs of touchdowns and avoiding turnovers. He's been well-protected by his offensive line—Matt Ryan's idly wondering what that's like—and he's insanely good in his own right. With the Falcons' ability to shut down the run, the Saints will pass all day.
So it comes down to the rush, the ability to get to Brees and force him to make mistakes. That could be a sack, a fumble or a hastily thrown ball that someone like William Moore or Brent Grimes can jump in front of. Anything that stops him or gives the Falcons the ball will help them win.
How do you overcome a good line and a quarterback who knows what he's doing? Get creative. John Abraham should be bullrushing all game long, given that he's still got enough gas in the tank to cause problems outside. The Falcons should be willing to use Sean Weatherspoon's athleticism and try to get him in the backfield, and they should let guys like Chris Owens and Dominique Franks use their own speed to try to generate pressure off the edge. Anything that's slightly out of the ordinary and/or exploits the fact that the Saints don't block nearly as well with their fullbacks and tight ends as with their actual line is a plus.
Oh, and don't neglect quality coverage. Brees will eat a soft zone alive, and the Falcons will have no time to get into the backfield in the first place.
How do you think the Falcons will fare when it comes to the pass rush, and how would you get at Brees?