Good afternoon, everyone. While our country hits the voting polls today, the Falcons begin preparations for next week's opponent: the New Orleans Saints. After a slow start and a myriad of issues off the field, the Saints have started to look like a strong football team of late—drubbing the Eagles last night, 28-13.
Atlanta has some work to do before heading to the Super Dome, as last week's performance likely won't cut it in the Big Easy. The next few days of practice will be vital one, as the Falcons will need to improve upon several key areas to take out Drew Brees and the Saints.
Let's jump right into today's headlines.
Falcons Still Remember Drew Brees Insult
On average, Atlanta's rivalry with New Orleans is a bitter one. But after two incidents in the last few years—Drew Brees re-entering a game to break the passing yards record, and dancing on the Falcon logo on MNF—the Saints have given the Falcons more reasons than usual to dislike them. This could add some fuel to the fire next Sunday and several weeks down the road, when New Orleans visits the Georgia Dome on Thursday Night Football.
Weatherspoon, Jerry Could Miss Saints Game
The Falcons might be without two of their defensive starters on Sunday, but there still remains a strong chance they could both suit up. Sean Weatherspoon, who missed the Cowboys game with a low ankle sprain, could make his return against the Saints. Expect the team's decision on Spoon to come on Wednesday or Thursday. Peria Jerry, who left last Sunday's game early with a knee injury, had no major injury, and is counting on swelling in his knee to subside before Sunday.
Don Shula Impressed With Falcons
The NFL's all-time winningest coach seems to think highly of this year's Falcons. Don Shula, who also led the 1972 Dolphins to an undefeated season, had some nice things to say about Atlanta, though he might be a tad pessimistic in regards to the Falcons' chances of attaining perfection.
“They’re good,” Shula said in a telephone interview. “I like what they’re doing at quarterback (Matt Ryan) and with their head coach (Mike Smith). They’re playing good defense and they can score. But it’s a tough deal.”
Falcons' Late Cover Means Rough Day For Sports Books
Yesterday I discussed how Matt Bryant's fourth field goal of the game had some ramifications in the sports betting world, and it looks like those ramifications were severe for the sports booking companies. It turns out that so many people covered the spread thanks to Matt Bryant's fourth field goal, the books lost roughly $6 million—perhaps more.
“I’ve been here (LVH Super Book) 8 1/2 years, and this is the worst day I’ve had,” said LVH Super Book vice president Jay Kornegay.