This Sunday the Falcons take to the road to face their bitter rivals, the Saints, for the first time this season. This game gives them the opportunity to right the ship after a flat outing against the Panthers, and return to 0.500. Naturally, this will be no cake walk as the Saints are 5-2 and pulled off an upset win over the Buccaneers last weekend, but the Falcons may have caught a break with this Saints side that they're facing.
In the Matt Ryan era the Falcons are just 9-17 against the Saints, largely attributed to the fact that the Saints had Drew Brees under center for the duration of that time. As we all know the Drew Brees era is over in New Orleans and Jameis Winston has since taken the reins. However, with Jameis out for the remainder of the season with an ACL injury, the Saints have a decision to make regarding who their starting quarterback will be, Taysom Hill or Trevor Siemian. All that is to say, though it still won't be a cake walk, that downgrade under center has to bode well for the Falcons.
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers during Week 8 of 2021.
On the Falcons side of course we will be without star wide receiver Calvin Ridley who has taken some time to step away from football to focus on his mental wellbeing. With him out of the lineup, Russell Gage assumes the number one wide receiver position, a role he’s more than ready to take on. It should help his case that the Saints defense will have their hands full trying to contain Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts.
The Falcons are coming off of a flat performance against the Panthers that saw Carolina run 47 times on them and win the time of possession battle by more than 10-minutes. Knowing the Saints playing style with guys like Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, it is safe to say they will try to follow suit running the ball and eating possession. Arthur Smith and Dean Pees are well aware of that and you can be assured this team practiced this week with that in mind. The Falcons front seven will be battle tested again but certainly know what they are getting into.
With all that to digest let's take a look at who the experts have picked to win on Sunday._
*Picks made as of Nov. 4_
|Author | Outlet||Pick||2021 Record|
|Jarrett Bell | USA Today||Saints||5-2|
|Matt Bowen | ESPN||Saints||3-4|
|Gregg Rosenthal | NFL.com||Saints||4-3|
|Gary Davenport | Bleacher Report||Falcons||2-5|
|Brad Gagnon | Bleacher Report||Falcons||5-2|
|Vinnie Iyer | Sporting News||Saints||4-3|
|Rob Ninkovich | ESPN||Saints||3-4|
|Jason La Confora | CBS Sports||Saints||4-3|
|Pete Prisco | CBS Sports||Saints||4-3|
|Lorenzo Reyes | USA Today||Falcons||4-3|