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Saints CB Marshon Lattimore out against Falcons

It’s a big lift for a Falcons passing game that will likely need to carry Atlanta to victory.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In a game where the Saints are already without starting quarterback Drew Brees, we’ve now learned they’ll be down one of their top defenders. While Lattimore’s history against the Falcons features a few noteworthy mistakes, he’s their best cornerback and a player they were going to need out there to help contain a (at least hypothetically) lethal Atlanta passing attack.

Instead, the Saints will have to rely heavily on Janoris Jenkins and players like the immortal Ken Crawley and Patrick Robinson, who the Falcons have eaten alive before. I was feeling confident about this matchup, perhaps to an unreasonable degree, but Taysom Hill at quarterback and Lattimore being out has made me feel it’s more warranted.

While you hate to see injury become a factor even for your biggest rivals, the Falcons unquestionably need to take advantage of the situation here. The Saints struggled with the decision to start Taysom Hill and Hill had his shaky moments in practice, per Adam Schefter, giving Atlanta a chance to potentially tee off on an unproven quarterback with 18 NFL passes to his name. With Lattimore out, Atlanta has a prime opportunity to enjoy a quality day through the air, something they’re going to win to need anyways. It hasn’t always been a given that the Falcons will take advantage of banged-up secondaries, but they have to today given that the Saints have some real shaky options with Lattimore injured.

This just creates more urgency around a Falcons win, which is still not a given, but we’ll hope they can pull off the victory today. I really don’t want to hear about it from Saints fans if they don’t.