|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1.1||2-1||2-1||30.0||18.7||370.7||(6.2)||1.0||25.0||12.7||411.0||(6.4)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||28.0||16.1||20.6||27:20||22-92||(4.2)||25-40||62.5%||290||(7.2)||62-382||(6.1)||(13.6)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||23.3||11.4||19.4||30:52||26-107||(4.1)||22-35||61.9%||240||(6.8)||61-347||(5.7)||(14.9)|
|Offense Road Games||28.2||16.6||21.6||28:06||23-99||(4.2)||27-42||64.8%||312||(7.4)||65-410||(6.3)||(14.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||27.6||14.9||25.0||33:27||31-156||(5)||23-37||63.8%||299||(8.2)||68-455||(6.7)||(16.5)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23||11||20.4||31:34||27-119||(4.3)||22-34||63.3%||240||(7.1)||61-359||(5.9)||(15.6)|
|Defense Road Games||28.4||17.4||26.4||31:54||32-153||(4.8)||23-35||65.3%||313||(9.1)||66-466||(7)||(16.4)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.0||0.3||1.3||0.2||13-5||43.5%||1-1||54.5%||3-76||(27.9)||1-7||(6)||7-59|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.6||1.5||1.8||13-5||38.3%||1-0||45.5%||2-57||(23.8)||20-2||(8.8)||7-54|
|Stats For (Road Games)||0.8||0.0||0.8||0.4||14-6||47.1%||1-1||60.0%||2-54||(29.8)||1-10||(10)||7-55|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.7||0.7||1.5|| ||13-5||39.5%||1-1||53.3%||3-56||(22)||2-19||(8.9)||7-55|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.7||1.7|| ||13-5||38.3%||1-0||47.8%||3-60||(23.1)||18-2||(8.3)||6-52|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.6||0.6||1.2|| ||11-5||40.4%||2-1||50.0%||3-62||(22.1)||2-14||(9)||5-40|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+0.7||0-2||1-2||24.7||14.3||410.7||(6.3)||3.0||24.3||15.7||314.7||(5.7)||0.7|
|Offense (All Games)||26.7||14.9||22.4||31:37||24-88||(3.6)||27-39||68.5%||298||(7.6)||63-386||(6.1)||(14.4)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||24.7||12.3||19.9||30:17||27-114||(4.2)||22-35||62.4%||246||(7.1)||62-360||(5.8)||(14.6)|
|Offense Home Games||24.4||13.2||20.6||30:18||22-83||(3.7)||25-39||64.8%||276||(7.2)||61-359||(5.9)||(14.7)|
|Defense (All Games)||19.6||10.7||18.0||28:23||26-123||(4.8)||20-32||62.0%||222||(7)||58-345||(6)||(17.6)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.1||10.3||20||30:16||26-110||(4.2)||22-36||61.8%||245||(6.8)||62-355||(5.7)||(16.1)|
|Defense Home Games||20.2||11.2||18.4||29:42||28-134||(4.8)||20-31||62.4%||220||(7)||59-354||(6)||(17.5)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.2||0.3||1.5||0.3||13-6||48.3%||0-0||0.0%||2-41||(26.6)||2-12||(7.5)||4-28|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.6||1.5||1.7||13-5||38.6%||1-0||48.9%||2-55||(23.5)||22-2||(9.1)||7-54|
|Stats For (Home Games)||1.8||0.2||2.0||-0.2||13-5||40.0%||0-0||0.0%||2-40||(25.1)||2-14||(7.7)||4-32|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||0.7||1.7|| ||12-4||37.4%||0-0||40.0%||3-69||(23.1)||2-13||(7.6)||6-49|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.8||1.8|| ||13-5||36.9%||1-0||50.0%||3-59||(22.9)||18-2||(8)||7-55|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||0.8||1.0||1.8|| ||12-4||29.0%||0-0||50.0%||3-65||(25)||2-18||(8)||9-73|
|Average power rating of opponents played: NEW ORLEANS 19.7, ATLANTA 17.7|
|9/30/2012||@ GREEN BAY||27-28||L||7.5||W||54||O||19-45||35-54-429||0||25-102||31-41-319||2|
|10/21/2012||@ TAMPA BAY||35-28||W||-1.5||W||49||O||26-81||27-37-377||1||25-98||24-42-415||0|
|11/29/2012||@ ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/9/2012||@ NY GIANTS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||@ DALLAS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|11/11/2012||@ NEW ORLEANS||27-31||L||-2||L||53.5||O||18-46||34-52-408||1||29-148||21-32-292||1|
|11/25/2012||@ TAMPA BAY||24-23||W||-1||T||51||U||24-79||26-32-345||2||21-50||20-31-276||0|
|11/29/2012||NEW ORLEANS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/9/2012||@ CAROLINA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||NY GIANTS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/22/2012||@ DETROIT|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|NEW ORLEANS: While this will be a trying year with head coach Sean Payton suspended, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. has been his right hand man running the offense for the past three seasons, calling plays while Payton was recovering from a broken leg last year. New Orleans will continue to use its versatile, three-headed running back monster with a series of different blocking schemes up front. Mark Ingram will likely lead them in carries again, most often serving as a second-half closer. Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles usually split carries in the first half, though Sproles is most often used as a receiver as opposed to a ball carrier. Ingram will take most of the red zone carries, though not exclusively. Carmichael came onto the staff as quarterbacks coach in 2006, the same year Drew Brees arrived. New Orleans will continue to use spread principles and will be fine with Brees running the show. TE Jimmy Graham and receiver Marques Colston are targets 1 and 1A for Brees, who is more comfortable throwing to receivers facing him. Because they use two backs often, slot receiver Lance Moore plays only about 50 percent of their snaps. Sproles is the main catch-and-run threat, getting screen passes and occasionally splitting wide. Thomas is used often in the screen game as well. And with Robert Meachem gone, Devery Henderson becomes the primary deep threat. Graham is the No. 1 target in the red zone but Sproles, despite his size, plays a big role on screens and swings, creating after the catch. There is not much to like about this defense, which ranked 30th in pass defense and is coming off a second straight season with a meager nine interceptions. Defensive leader LB Jonathan Vilma is suspended for bounty nonsense and the team's second-leading tackler from last season, LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, is now in St. Louis. They'll be replaced by Curtis Lofton, who takes over at middle linebacker after playing the same position for the Falcons last season, and David Hawthorne, who was a solid run-stopper at middle linebacker for Seattle in 2011 and will likely switch to the weak side. Safety Roman Harper often blitzed and played almost exclusively in the box under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and he will likely have a less aggressive role under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. |
|ATLANTA: New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter isn't nearly as run-happy as departed play-caller Mike Mularkey, so this offense won't be nearly as ground-heavy as it's been in recent seasons. Atlanta was largely a man-blocking team under Mularkey, but Koetter runs a mix of man and zone, requiring an adjustment for the offensive line. As for the backs, Michael Turner is declining, and Jacquizz Rodgers has carved out a role as a change-of-pace back who will get the ball in a variety of ways. Koetter coached 5-foot-6 Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville, and while MJD is thicker, Koetter won't hesitate to use the 5-foot-6 Rodgers. Koetter tends to not mess around with a lot of play-action in the red zone, so near the goal line is where Turner will continue to earn his money. Koetter likes to get his receivers stretching the field, especially on play-action, and he's always been able to find ways to get the ball to his tight ends, which is good news for Tony Gonzalez. Roddy White should again be Matt Ryan's No. 1 target, and Julio Jones will be targeted more frequently downfield. One of Koetter's biggest challenges is to improve the screen game, which was non-existent in Atlanta. That's why Rodgers could be in for a much bigger role. He also plans on utilizing the no-huddle offense that the Falcons used effectively at times last year. The Falcons have a decent overall defense, but they lost their middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to the Saints. He'll be replaced by Sean Weatherspoon, who displayed outstanding range on the outside last season, but may take some time to adjust to the new role. The addition of CB Asante Samuel instantly improves Atlanta's secondary because he has the ability to make opposing quarterbacks pay for trying to avoid throwing at Brent Grimes, who is also an opportunistic playmaker capable of covering No. 1 receivers. DE John Abraham was the only player to surpass four sacks last season. Abraham can't keep his 10-sack production up forever, but he's still a solid tackler who has the ability to pop the football loose. Expect another productive season from the 34-year-old. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (NEW ORLEANS-ATLANTA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Corrects typo, adds Saints' bus pelted by eggs)
*Saints-Falcons Preview* ========================
By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
The Atlanta Falcons don't need much motivation for their rematch with the New Orleans Saints.
However, they've done a good job of giving the desperate Saints more reason to get amped up for this contest.
The Falcons look to avenge their lone defeat by trying to avoid a fifth consecutive loss to the Saints on Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.
Atlanta (10-1) was rolling along at 8-0 when New Orleans ended that run with a 31-27 home victory Nov. 11. The Falcons were held to 46 rushing yards, settled for two field goals inside the red zone and turned the ball over on downs late in the game from inside the Saints' 5-yard line.
Though Atlanta bounced back from that defeat with two close victories to maintain the NFC's best record, some Falcons believe they were the better team at the Superdome.
"It's not like they came out here and won a game," said Atlanta receiver Roddy White, who caught seven passes for 114 yards in that contest. "I think we kind of gave it to them."
Comments like that have lit a spark under the Saints, who have won four in a row and 11 of 13 between the NFC South rivals. New Orleans has won the last three at Atlanta, each by three points.
"It definitely kind of sets up a nice little fire or however you want to say it," New Orleans safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "That's how it is - Atlanta versus the Saints. There's always going to be somebody talking trash. Most times it's Roddy White. And we enjoy it. I think that makes the game fun. It brings emotion to the game. He's Roddy White. You've got to know that's going to come from him."
White might have reason to spout off considering the Falcons can clinch the division title with a victory and a Tampa Bay loss or tie at Denver on Sunday.
"Ten and 1 is great, but I'll tell you what I've said since the beginning of the season: We're just jockeying for position," said Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who is tied for sixth in the NFL with 69 receptions. "We just want to put ourselves in the best position, playing the best football."
New Orleans (5-6), meanwhile, remains on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture after its three-game winning streak ended with a 31-21 home loss to San Francisco on Sunday.
"The margin for error is very slight right now. We've kind of used up our nine lives," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "So we've got to really bear down here and just understand what's at stake every time we step on the field."
Brees threw three touchdowns but his two interceptions against the 49ers were each returned for TDs. He's completed 67.4 percent of his passes and thrown 13 touchdowns versus five picks while going 5-1 at Atlanta as a member of the Saints.
He threw for 298 yards and three scores against the Falcons earlier this month, but it might be the Saints defense that could help determine the outcome. New Orleans still ranks last in the league allowing 454.8 total yards, but the defense yielded a season-low 375 and two TDs versus San Francisco.
"We need to carry that into Atlanta because this is another good offense that we're facing and we don't have a lot of time to prepare," New Orleans defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo continued. "We are getting better as a unit. It is coming together."
Despite winning their last two games by a combined five points, the Falcons still rank eighth in scoring (26.7 points per game) and sixth in total offense (385.9 yards per game).
"We feel really good where we are at," said White, who has 18 receptions for 241 yards in his last two games at New Orleans but 20 for 368 in seven career home contests against the Saints.
After throwing five picks in Atlanta's 23-19 win over Arizona on Nov. 18, Matt Ryan threw for 353 yards with an 80-yard TD to Julio Jones and was intercepted once in Sunday's 24-23 victory at Tampa Bay. Ryan has thrown five TDs and been intercepted once but is 1-2 at home against the Saints.
Held to 15 yards on 13 carries at New Orleans, Michael Turner has totaled 78 on 41 rushes in his last three games overall and could see more of his workload taken by Jacquizz Rodgers. The second-year speedster rushed 10 times for 49 yards with a TD and caught two passes for 30 against the Buccaneers.
The anticipation for this game may be ramped up even more after the Saints reported their team bus being pelted by eggs after they arrived at the Atlanta airport.
Tight end Jimmy Graham wrote on Twitter: "Bus just got egged after landing in ATL by the ramp workers. Classy!"
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 10:56:06 PM EST|