They won eight consecutive games before losing to the upstart Los Angles Rams on November 26. The Saints (10-3) not only lead Carolina by one game after beating them 31-21; they also hold and can not lose the tiebreaker if the Panthers end up pulling even with them.
The Falcons take on the division rivals Saints on Thursday at 8:25 p.m.at Mercedes-Benz stadium. It's kind of hard to believe the two haven't met yet. It's a clean concept and the Saints are going to look sharp on primetime.
The Saints beat Carolina (34-13) and Miami (20-0) to get things turned around. Mark Ingram has rushed for 922 yards and nine touchdowns, while also being on the receiving end of 42 passes from Drew Brees.
Rhodes made a point to give his secondary mates credit after the game, specifically for the play above...
The Saints' rookie class appears to be special, much like the Falcons' 2016 class that included safety Keanu Neal, and linebackers Deion Jones and De'Vondre Campbell, all starters as rookies.
"You see a lot of guys stopping their feet, creating that separation", Wilks said. Defensive captain Luke Kuechly was visibly upset with Thompson after his display of poor technique. We added some free agents.
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He's provided a major spark to the offense. But the week before that, Jones busted loose for 12 catches, 253 yards and two touchdowns against the Buccaneers.
"He's just helped the offense as a whole", Campbell said.
While the Saints are relying on Ingram and Kamara, Brees is still lethal. He has a passer rating of 104.2.
"We have to turn the page fast to get to New Orleans", Quinn said. "I know they are running the football well, too". Atlanta doesn't incorporate their backs in the passing game as heavily as New Orleans does, but Coleman is capable of making big runs after the catch. Carolina was hurt by the play of overwhelmed tackle Matt Kalil, who had multiple hands to the face penalties.
Zimmer did an excellent job of mixing up who would help on Jones and where they'd be coming from, which made it hard for the Falcons to scheme around the help to free up their playmaker. Jordan has been a good player for a long time.
"Like I've said before, this time of the year is when it really shows up". The front seven in general has done a really good job. But starting left guard Andy Levitre has a partially torn triceps and may not play. That leaves little time to recuperate from nagging injuries and to implement a game plan. He tried to pick it up and fire the ball to a teammate for a first down, but Carolina had offensive linemen downfield, which would have negated the play had Palardy been able to complete the pass.