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Expert's Take: Falcons at Saints


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http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2009/10/22-31/Experts_Take_Falcons_at_Saints.aspx

During the Falcons season, experts from the national media will check in with their thoughts on the team, the NFL and upcoming Falcons opponents. Introducing "Expert's Take." This week's Q&A features Charean Williams of the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram.

AF.COM: In your opinion, who are the top five teams in the NFL?

CW: The three undefeated teams have to be in there: Indianapolis, New Orleans and Denver, in no particular order. Then, it's the Steelers and the Vikings. I think almost anybody you polled would agree those are the top-five teams right now. But it's early. Nobody outside Arizona had the Cardinals in the top five at this point last year.

AF.COM: You saw the Falcons over the weekend against the Cowboys. What were your impressions of both teams?

CW: I picked the Falcons to win the game and was surprised the Cowboys handled them that easily after the Falcons' first possession. It is the first time the Cowboys have played a full game this season. I think they showed what they're capable of. The question is: Can they find any kind of consistency? I still think the Falcons make the playoffs as a wild-card team, as I picked before the season started, but this was a big game in terms of tie-breakers. It certainly could help the Cowboys down the line if they can keep winning. But the Cowboys' December schedule is brutal and they haven't had a winning record after Dec. 1 in more than a decade.

AF.COM: Who are the top five wide receivers in the game right now and why?

CW: Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald clearly have separated themselves as the best of the best. I did vote for Roddy White for the All-Pro team last year, over Fitzgerald, so Roddy is in my top five. Reggie Wayne and Wes Welker would be my other two choices. I know that leaves out Anquan Boldin and Chad Ochocinco, but I think we saw earlier this year, when he was out of the lineup, how important Wes Welker is to the Patriots.

AF.COM: What are the keys to Monday night's game between the Saints and the Falcons?

I would say stopping Drew Brees, but that didn't work so well for the Dolphins. If Brees can turn the ball over four times and still win, is there any way to stop him? It's a matter of outscoring the Saints. They had three points with seconds remaining in the first half Sunday and ended up with 46. The Falcons will have to score and score and score some more. If it's fourth-and-short, they better go for it. They better score touchdowns and not field goals. A ball control game certainly would help, so getting Michael Turner and that running game going is key this week.

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I have to say, I saw that score and I was sure it was over. It seemed the wildcat has prevailed. Then I checked the score later and the Saints won....couldn't beleive it.

From what I have heard since the game, the Dolphins went to throwing the ball more instead of running the wildcat to control the clock. I didn't see the game but if that is true....WTF?

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From what I have heard since the game, the Dolphins went to throwing the ball more instead of running the wildcat to control the clock. I didn't see the game but if that is true....WTF?

Yah I didn't see the game either so I am not sure. If they did, that is just stupid. I cant STAND when teams doing something that works in the first half and come out the second half and competely change what they were doing. If it aint broke don't fix it.

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I have to say, I saw that score and I was sure it was over. It seemed the wildcat has prevailed. Then I checked the score later and the Saints won....couldn't beleive it.

It goes to explain why Saints fans are beating their chests like wild gorillas too.

That kind of football was never before seen by Saints fans....ever.

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From what I have heard since the game, the Dolphins went to throwing the ball more instead of running the wildcat to control the clock. I didn't see the game but if that is true....WTF?

They had to start throwing it or they would have been punting all afternoon... into the 2nd half the Saints shut down their run game and wildcat, basically daring Henne to throw... 3 and outs started to occur... You can only control the clock with the run if you're getting 1st downs... the Phins were not... the Saints started running and going play action for big plays... the Phins had no choice but to throw to try and keep pace.

Edited by nawlinsaintfan
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They had to start throwing it or they would have been punting all afternoon... into the 2nd half the Saints shut down their run game and wildcat, basically daring Henne to throw... 3 and outs started to occur... You can only control the clock with the run if you're getting 1st downs... the Phins were not... the Saints started running and going play action for big plays... the Phins had no choice but to throw to try and keep pace.

yeah, but they would have been better off just punting it. The Saints returned two picks for TDs.

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If that doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does.

Everyone knows the Saints are a great team this year. Your point ? They remind me of the 98 Vikings team. The Falcons were 14-2 and underdogs in Minnesota. It took a lot of effort....a team effort and a little luck (their Anderson missing a field goal) to force overtime. It will take a similar, very physical all around team effort with little or no mistakes for the Falcons to win.

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