One of the biggest questions looming for the Falcons-Saints game on Sunday is what the Saints' defense will look like. It's not a stretch to say that a decent effort from them makes the game closer and could lead to a Saints win, while a pitiful performance a la 2012 could mean the Falcons drop 30+ without breaking a sweat.
I turned to Dave Cariello over at Canal Street Chronicles for a brief scouting report:
It's difficult to say exactly what Rob Ryan's defense will be capable of since we haven't seen it yet in the regular season when the games count. Obviously we've seen a little bit of it during preseason but I can't imagine we've seen everything Ryan's got. Though the defense has switched to a 3-4 base alignment, don't let that fool you. Ryan still mixes in a lot of 4-3 stuff, just like Gregg Williams did from 2009 to 2011. Which makes sense since Williams learned everything he knew from Ryan's father, Buddy. So on obvious running downs, I would expect them to beef up the front and line up in a 4-3. In passing situations, Ryan really likes to use three safeties so expect to see a lot of first round draft pick Kenny Vaccaro out there. For more detail than I could ever give, I highly recommend checking out Uptown Murf's article about Ryan's defense from this off-season... http://www.canalstreetchronicles.com/2013/6/26/4461784/saints-rob-ryan-defense-2013-scheme
Tomorrow, The DW will take a closer look at whether or not the Falcons should fear Rob Ryan's defense. Be sure to check it out!