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Numbers, Notes and Colors for Week 8


Mike Smith was named 2008 Associated Press and Sporting News NFL Coach of the Year. Sean Payton was honored with this award in 2007. * The Falcons are 1-0 under Mike Smith during night games (21-14win over the Bears in Week 6). * New Orleans starting free safety Darren Sharper has returned 3interceptions for touchdowns*this season. He has11 on his career, one shy of the NFL record held by Rod Woodson. * Falcons running back Michael Turner has scored a touchdown infive straight games. * The Falcons will wearWhite jerseys on *Monday Night Football in New Orleans. * Under Smith the Falcons have never lost back-to-back games. * When the Saints have the lead Drew Brees has a116.2quarterback rating, but when they're behind his quarterback rating drops to70.4. * When the Falcons have the lead Matt Ryan has a79.4quarterback rating as opposed to his rating of93.2 when the Falcons are down. * Falcons safety Eric Coleman and Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma were teammates during the2004-05season with the New York Jets. * Tony Gonzalez has caught a pass in137straight games. * The Falcons are44-35in games against the New Orleans Saints. * Week 7 was a week of firsts as Eric Weems scored hisfirst career touchdown and Thomas DeCoud had hisfirst career sack. * The Saints rankNo. 1in the NFL in points per game with39.6 and the Falcons rankNo. 11in opponents points per game with19. * Both Mike Smith and Sean Payton coached at San Diego State. Smith was the Assistant Coach in1982and Linebackers Coach in1983-85. Payton was the Offensive Assistant Coach from1988-89and the Running Backs and Quarterbacks Coach from1992-93. * Roddy White had10receptions and164receiving yards the last time these two teams took the field. * Falcons cornerback Chevis Jackson and tight end Keith Zinger both attended Louisiana State University and won the2008BCS National Championship with LSU. The championship game was played in the Louisiana Superdome. Center Todd McClure also went to LSU, which is the school most represented on the Falcons roster. * The Week 8 game between the Saints and Falcons will be the Saintsfirst division game of the 2009 season. * Brees competed with Falcons running back Michael Turner and tight end Justin Peelle on the San Diego Chargers. * At the end of the first quarter in Dallas, the Falcons defense held the Cowboys to18total yards (18rushing andzeropassing). * The Falcons rankNo. 8in turnover differential( 3)and the Saints rank No. 4 ( 8)**.

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