Today is December 5th, and the cold has finally arrived here in New Orleans.
Atlanta (-3) vs. New Orleans: Can I start by saying how much I hate Thursday Night Football?
Thursday night games have always brought about a greater sense of pride and competitive spirit from fans of both teams in their respective domes.
New Orleans is a flawless 3-0 in divisional play, but this will be the first of two meetings with Atlanta in the next three weeks.
The Saints are a one-point favorite at Atlanta.
It's a must-win for both sides but will the Color Rush uniforms look like?
Defensively, the Falcons are eighth in total defense, giving up 321 yards 20 points per game. The Saints have already beaten Carolina twice and hold the tiebreaker there.
The Falcons have split their first six home games this season and losing either of their final two - they host Carolina in Week 17 - would deal a severe blow to their chances of returning to the postseason this year. The Falcons would likely have to sweep the series. And the Falcons speedy defense must find some way to neutralize "Boom & Zoom" who have combined for 200 yards from scrimmage in five consecutive games. Will get a better indication of that come tomorrow night. Here are three bold predictions for the game. As a result, look for another nail biter. They were blown out in embarrassing fashion to the Dallas Cowboys. Winning three of their last four, the Falcons are coming on strong and determined. I hope I'm wrong, but I see a desperate Falcons team beating a less desperate - and still resting guys - Saints team. With veteran Drew Brees leading the passing game and Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram powering the run game, the Saints have taken control in the division with just a few more games to be played. Also, the Saints have won 8 of 9 games, with their only loss coming against the Los Angeles Rams.
It's the game week no National Football League player looks forward to.
While the Falcons won't have to worry about Brees picking up big gains with his legs, they will have their hands full trying to slow down Ingram and Kamara, who are basically doing what Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman did for Atlanta's offense last season.
Offensively, the Falcons must get back to their routine of using a solid rushing to allow for Ryan to take shots through the air and make the better decisions on first and second down to prevent long third-down situations.