The return of the Saints is not a welcome one, because we’d all like to enjoy our Thanksgivings without the prospect of the Falcons losing. Alas, here we are.
The staff is pretty divided this week, with a few of us willing to predict a close win and the rest thinking loss. Let’s hope those of us in the W column prove to be wise beyond our years.
Falcons 28, Saints 27
Look, I know the chances of the Falcons pulling off a second straight upset of New Orleans are slim, and you know that. The chances of them winning that first game on the road were slim, too, though, and our extremely tepid belief in them clearly pushed the team over the top. Let’s do it again.
The Saints are one of the better, more balanced football teams in the league this year, but their dirty little secret is that they are not the best at any one thing. A team playing at the height of their powers, like the Falcons and Rams did earlier this year, can knock them off. It’s just that it takes everything really clicking at a high level to get the job done, because New Orleans is so good and so balanced that they will absolutely punish your mistakes.
In a short week divisional game in an unpredictable rivalry, the Falcons can pull this thing off. Let’s hope they do, one last time. - Dave Choate
Saints 28, Falcons 24
Look, I don’t like it any more than you do. I think the Falcons will make this one competitive (and I hope I’m right about that), but I just don’t see this particular team — with its propensity for shooting itself in the foot on a regular basis and playing like trash at home — pulling out a second win over one of the better teams in the NFL this year. At least we can take solace in the fact that the Saints will likely blow their postseason in some infinitely meme-able way. That’s something to look forward to. - Jeanna Thomas
Falcons 31, Saints 27
I don’t understand this season at all, and every time I think the Falcons will do something, they basically do the other thing. My head and gut tell me Thursday night could get rough if the Saints come in energized to rectify the loss a few weeks ago, but the 2019 Falcons tell me to just wait and see. I’m banking on a bizarre offensive explosion and just enough defense to chalk up a Falcons win and a season sweep of the Saints. None of us will see this coming, which is precisely the point. When they get their butts kicked by the Panthers later in the season at home when we’ll all be riled up and expecting a victory, we’ll be none the wiser and all the more Falcons fans. - Cory Woodroof
Saints 31, Falcons 27
I’m not sure the Falcons can pull off another epic upset, but I do expect the game to be close. Atlanta always plays New Orleans competitively, especially at home. But after getting trounced by the Buccaneers, it’s hard to have much faith in this team. Was that magnificent two-game winning streak just a flash in the pan? Can the Falcons bounce back—again—from a lopsided defeat? I genuinely hope so. If Atlanta has just one good game left in them this season, I hope it’s against the Saints on Thanksgiving. - Kevin Knight
Saints 34, Falcons 17
I want the Falcons to win, I hope they do. But if you expect me to believe lightening will strike twice for this disaster of a team, you’re going to be disappointed. We not only beat the Saints down in New Orleans a few weeks ago, we destroyed them. I wanted to believe that this team turned their luck around, but then they let the Tampa Bay Buccaneers walk in to their house and officially end their season. I hope I’m wrong for the sake of watching the Falcons (wearing their unlucky, but beautiful throwback uniforms) destroy the Saints on national television while surrounded by plenty of food and family, but I don’t see it happening. Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. – Evan Birchfield
Saints 34, Falcons 23
I also want the Falcons to win and with the team donning the 90s throwbacks along with the field alteration at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, I think the team will play with a little extra juice. A win here for Atlanta will leave a lasting blow to the Saints chances of obtaining home-field advantage in the upcoming postseason. In addition, sweeping the Saints will be a nice bright spot on a very down, embarrassing season. But I can’t trust this team. At all. I can’t trust that they will run the ball well again or get after Drew Brees and make him uncomfortable. Those things need to occur but I can’t trust that they will truly execute in that way. - Eric Robinson