falcon057 Posted September 24, 2010 Share Posted September 24, 2010 (edited) NFL Odds: New Orleans Saints Are Small Favorites Over Atlanta FalconsByJimmy Boyd(Analyst) on September 23, 2010The Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints are all set to do battle Sunday in a Week 3 NFC South division showdown. Last week, the Falcons earned their first win of the season with a 41-7 blowout over the Arizona Cardinals. A day later, the defending Super Bowl champs improved to 2-0 with a hard-fought 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.The Falcons know the road to the NFC South title goes through New Orleans, and that’s one place where they have struggled in recent years. The Saints have won four straight at home in this series and seven of the last eight overall. NFL odds makers expect New Orleans to continue its dominance over its division rival, listing the Saints as a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 49.5.We know about Drew Brees and the offense, which was the best in the NFL last season. In my mind, it’s only a matter of time before this unit gets it going like it did last year. While I’m sure I’ll write a lot about the offense this season, I have made the defense the focal point this week.For New Orleans to beat the Falcons Sunday, the defense must either tighten the screws or continue to come up with takeaways. Against the 49ers, the Saints allowed 417 yards of offense. However, they were able to make up for it by forcing four turnovers. The Saints were one of the most opportunistic defenses in the league in 2009, but can they continue to rely on takeaways?At some point the New Orleans defense will have to make a stand, without depending on a turnover to bail it out. The defense especially has some work to do against the run. The 49ers racked up 142 yards on 5.5 yards per carry with Frank Gore getting 112 of those on 5.6 yards per tote. New Orleans will face another tall task this week with star running back Michael Turner coming to town.Turner ran for 75 yards on 8.3 yards per carry in last week’s win over the Cardinals. The Falcons may have found another star to team with Turner as well. Jason Snelling rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 5.4 yards per tote in relief of the Pro Bowler. Turner left last week’s game with a groin injury, but he is expected to be ready to go Sunday.Atlanta came alive offensively in Week 2, scoring 41 points and racking up 444 yards of offense. However, the Falcons would prefer not to get into a shootout with New Orleans, which has won the last three meetings while scoring at least 26 points in each of those games.The Falcons know their defense must be up to the task, and last week it certainly was. The Falcons held the Cardinals to only 267 yards and forced three turnovers. More impressively, Atlanta held Arizona to 0 of 9 on third and fourth down conversion attempts.The Falcons know they’ll have to slow down New Orleans’ passing game in order to pull off the upset Sunday. They played great ball-hawking defense last week, but Drew Brees is a much larger fish to fry than Derek Anderson.Take the points you want need them! Edited September 24, 2010 by falcon057 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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