Devonta Freeman will run for 150 yards again
Freeman has been absolutely on fire since taking over the starting job in week 3 due to an injury to Tevin Coleman. Coleman had performed nicely, but Freeman has taken the league by storm by scoring 7 TDs and accumulating over 500 yards of total offense. The offensive line, which was supposed to be one of weaker lines coming into the season, has become one of the best run blocking lines in the NFL. Mike Person will be missing Thursday’s game, but the Atlanta line should be able to dominate a vulnerable New Orleans defensive front that has allowed the second most rushing yards in the league thus far. Look for Freeman to continue his string of electric performances on Thursday night.
The defense will come up with a score
Much like the offensive line, the Falcons defense has well over-exceeded expectations. They may not be the most talented bunch, but Dan Quinn has this group playing with a new attitude and physicality. Atlanta currently ranks 5th in turnover differential at +5 and has 3 touchdowns on defense in the last two weeks. It is no secret that Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense is not what it once was. His lack of weapons has caused Brees to force a lot of passes and hold the ball for too long. New Orleans ranks 28th in the league in turnover differential at -5. The Falcons have had many games where they have forced Brees to make mistakes, including a past Thursday night match up in 2012 in which Brees threw 5 interceptions. The defense will get after Brees and take full advantage of one of his mistakes.
Atlanta will win in its 3rd straight game versus New Orleans
It has been no secret the Saints have owned the Falcons over the last decade. However, Atlanta has started to even the score. After beating the Saints twice last year, Atlanta heads to New Orleans with a shot to beat the Saints for a third time in a row. It would be the first time Atlanta has won three in a row in the series since they won five in a row from 1995-1999. It is never going to be easy to go into the SuperDome and win versus Drew Brees and company, but Atlanta is the clear favorite in this game. Expect the Falcons to come out ready to take care of business on the national stage and prove they are for real.