New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons- 9/7/14
New Orleans Saints (11-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Georgia Dome)
The Line: Atlanta Falcons 0 -- Over/Under: 51.5 See the Latest Odds
The Atlanta Falcons look for a rebound season after a 4-12 mark a year ago as they host their NFC South rivals from New Orleans on Sunday.
The Saints have grown into a perennial Super Bowl contender over the last five seasons and with a guy like Drew Brees behind centre there is no reason not to think that New Orleans is more than capable of living up to that billing this season. New Orleans is loaded offensively as Brees has a ton of weapons to work with including Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston and Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas in the back field making them one of the most dangerous units in the league and the team’s success will largely depend on them once again in 2014. Defensively, the Saints made a huge splash in the offseason by acquiring Jairus Byrd from the Buffalo Bills giving them an immediate upgrade in the defensive secondary and balancing out a roster that many see as being largely dependent on their offense. New Orleans are the favourites to win the South again this year but with a healthy Julio Jones and an improving Carolina Panthers team breathing down their necks I think this could set up to be a very competitive seasons and as such this game makes a huge difference albeit in week one.
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The Falcons were abysmal last year but a large part of that stemmed from the loss of Julio Jones as he went down with a season ending shoulder injury in the early parts of the campaign and they never seemed to recover from there. Atlanta is poised to bounce back as they have a solid roster on both sides of the ball and always seem to play well at home against divisional opponents which is where they find themselves in this spot on opening week. Jones and Roddy White form a solid receiving corps and the tandem of Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers should be able to alleviate some of the pressure Matt Ryan will face behind centre but much like the Saints, Atlanta’s success will largely depend on the play of their signal caller. While it is almost a guarantee that Atlanta will improve on their 4-12 season and will be competitive in the division I think the Saints are a step above here and at a pick em right now I think New Orleans is the play and until I see some line movement I think you have to take the visitors.