New Orleans Saints December Featuring the Dirty Birds

New Orleans Saints December Featuring the Dirty Birds

It is a bit odd to hear Falcons fans have been somewhat placid considering their team has won three of their last four games. Ryan before 2016 was always a pretty good quarterback; he wasn't great, wasn't bad, but seemed to throw a lot of interceptions and throw them at critical times.

The Saints' defensive backfield especially could have benefitted from some extra downtime.

Cornerback Marshon Lattimore was listed as "limited" on the practice report Tuesday that the Saints submitted to the NFL. That doesn't help the Falcons on the field, though.

New Orleans is also third in rush offense (143 yards per game) third in pass offense (266 yards per game) and sixth in scoring touchdowns in the red zone (60 percent) this season.

Ingram and Kamara have been working well, splitting the rushing responsibilities in the New Orleans backfield.

The 2017 Saints are on a magical ride with a fun young team, but Atlanta is still relevant with a young team of their own, so there's nothing better than this game with playoffs and division titles on the line. In the nine wins that number jumps to 91.3. With veteran Drew Brees leading the passing game and Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram powering the run game, the Saints have taken control in the division with just a few more games to be played. Besides averaging seven yards per carry and now sitting 17th in rushing, Kamara is averaging slightly more yards per game as a receiver (51.2 vs 50.5). The Falcons have held four teams under 100 rushing yards and are 4-0 in those games. They're playing great this year. If the Saints can limit the Falcons to field goals, a win should be coming for the Black and Gold.

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One academy player who will not be included is 19-year-old winger Marcus Edwards , who Pochettino compared to Lionel Messi ahead of his first-team debut last season.

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If he wins what would be a fourth presidential term, he will be eligible to serve another six years until 2024, when he turns 72. Just hours earlier Putin had declined to confirm his candidacy at a glitzy event dedicated to volunteers.

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So far companies have chosen to hedge at the higher prices rather than drill as they try to return to positive cash flow. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 0.62% at $62.47 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

Forget about defending their conference crown, Atlanta needs a win on Thursday if it wants a realistic shot at repeating as NFC South champions.

The Saints are a one-point favorite at Atlanta.

Defensively, the Falcons are eighth in total defense, giving up 321 yards 20 points per game. The UNDER is 4-1 in New Orleans' last five games played on a Thursday.

The short turnaround will likely result in a sluggish and sloppy start, but it's the team that makes the right adjustments that will win. But in the end, one team takes a step closer to the playoffs while another falls farther behind the pack.

Brian Allee-Walsh is a long-time Saints reporter based in New Orleans. He also frequently comments on other teams in the NFL and in NCAA football.

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