Neither team is bad, though the Falcons stumbled coming out of the gate and the Saints still look shaky. With Atlanta at home, this is a winnable game, but New Orleans rarely if ever rolls over and dies when playing the Falcons, so I take nothing for granted. They’re still loaded with offensive talent and have just enough on defense to cause problems for Atlanta’s offense, though they’re far short of both Carolina and Philadelphia on that front.
What makes this game interesting is where both teams find themselves. I think 9 out of 10 experts and fans would have told you that the Falcons and Saints would be dueling for the division title, and after a couple of weeks, that seems like far from a sure thing. Regression should be in the offing for the Buccaneers, but both the Falcons and Saints will need to play better if they’re going to contend for the NFC South title, to say nothing of an NFC Super Bowl berth. The Falcons have been wracked by injuries to an unbelievable degree early on, while the Saints are going to need to prove that their impressive defensive showing a year ago was not just a fluke.
The winner of this one walks out with either a 2-0 (Falcons) or 1-1 (Saints) record against the division and a 2-1 record, which should keep them very much in the hunt in the early going. The loser will be in worse shape, particularly if that loser happens to be the saints (owing to their divisional record with a loss to the Bucs already), but it’s not fatal just yet. Falcons-Saints just always means more, though.
Here’s the essential information you’ll need for Sunday. We hope you’ll be watching with us!
Falcons vs. Saints key info
Time: Sunday, September 23, 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
TV Channel: FOX
Announcers: Sam Rosen and Cris Carter
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Odds: The Falcons are favored by a field goal at home
Prediction: Falcons win, 30-24
Key Questions: Will Duke Riley or someone else be able to stop Alvin Kamara? Will the Falcons hold this Saints passing game in check enough to win? Will the Falcons’ offense be as good as it was a week ago (or better) against an inferior defense?
SB Nation Opposition Site: Canal Street Chronicles
2018 Falcons Schedule
Week 1: Falcons @ Eagles, Thursday Night Football - Loss
Week 2: Falcons vs. Panthers, Win
Week 3: Falcons vs. Saints, Sunday September 23 1:00 p.m.
Week 4: Falcons vs. Bengals, Sunday September 30 1:00 p.m.
Week 5: Falcons @ Steelers, Sunday October 7 1:00 p.m.
Week 6: Falcons vs. Buccaneers, Sunday October 14 1:00 p.m.
Week 7: Falcons vs. Giants, Monday Night Football October 22 8:15 p.m.
Week 8: BYE WEEK
Week 9: Falcons @ Redskins, Sunday November 4 1:00 p.m.
Week 10: Falcons @ Browns, Sunday November 11 1:00 p.m.
Week 11: Falcons vs. Cowboys, Sunday November 18 1:00 p.m.
Week 12: Falcons @ Saints, Thursday Night Football - Thanksgiving November 22 8:20 p.m.
Week 13: Falcons vs. Ravens, Sunday December 2 1:00 p.m.
Week 14: Falcons @ Packers, Sunday December 9 1:00 p.m.
Week 15: Falcons vs. Cardinals, Sunday December 16 1:00 p.m.
Week 16: Falcons @ Panthers, Sunday December 23 1:00 p.m.
Week 17: Falcons @ Buccaneers, Sunday December 30 1:00 p.m.