Falcons score 35+ points
Under Kyle Shanahan, scoring 35 or more points was almost a given. It has yet to happen in 20 games with Steve Sarkisian. The Falcons only had four 30-point showings in 2017 but already have one through two weeks of 2018. They will not have to wait long to get their second, either. Facing a suspect Saints defense, Atlanta will put up their most points to date in the Steve Sarkisian era.
The New Orleans defense has played a little Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the opening weeks of the season. In week one, they were shredded for 48 points by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs. Although, seeing Fitzmagic do his thing against the Eagles as well, might provide an excuse for the Saints woes. New Orleans bounced back against the lowly Browns in week two, holding them to 18 points.
However, the defense still allowed over 300 yards to an anemic Browns offense, and the Saints were out gained by 52 yards. The Saints as an organization have been allergic to defense since Sean Payton took over in 2006. Last year was an outlier, as New Orleans vastly exceeded expectations. They will revert back to the norm this season, and the Falcons will have a field day offensively this Sunday.
Alvin Kamara flirts with 150 yards receiving
Alvin Kamara might be my favorite player to watch on a weekly basis. Deceptive strength makes him nearly impossible to bring down, but that’s not even his best attribute. There are not many players that can make people miss with one-cut like Kamara, creating a deadly combination that has taken the NFL by storm.
The Falcons are not going to miss Keanu Neal and Deion Jones at any other point more than they will in this matchup. Both have the ability to slow Kamara down. Without them, he is set to have a monster afternoon. The Saints have not had a ton of success with him on the ground, but have made him a premier weapon in the passing game.
New Orleans is going to get Kamara in space as much as possible, and well, good luck to the Atlanta defense. We saw what McCaffery was able to do to the Falcons catching passes out of the backfield. Kamara has the same skill set, just two times better.
Mohamed Sanu catches for 100 yards and a TD
This is more of a gut feeling than anything. Sanu has gotten off to a slow start with only six catches for under 40 yards on the season. Those numbers are more attributed to the offense shaking off the cobwebs in the early weeks rather than a drop off in play, so it is a matter of time before it’s Sanu’s turn to break out.
That day could be Sunday against a weak Saints secondary, whose best player, Marshon Lattimore will be glued to Julio Jones. This should leave a lot of open opportunities for guys like Sanu and Ridley. And while I expect Ridley to have quite an impact as well, Sanu seems to relish in these type of physical matchups. It does not get much more heated than the Falcons and the Saints, so I see Sanu coming up with several key catches in a shootout with New Orleans.