At the beginning of the season, the matchup between the Saints and the Falcons appeared to be one that not only had NFC South title implications, but may have well been for the right to play in the Super Bowl.
The Falcons were coming off another solid season (13-3) with the NFC South title in their hip pockets and the top seed in the NFC playoffs.
The Saints were coming off a season they just as soon forget, but all the missing pieces were in place to have one hell of a run at the playoffs.
As of now, the Saints lead the NFC South with the Carolina Panthers chasing them for a playoff spot. The Falcons have two wins and are fighting to not receive the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Sunday’s matchup in Atlanta is more about staying the course and avoiding a continued slide in disaster. Hopefully, no matter what happens, there will be another shootout as there was one in Week 1.
Here are three bold predictions for this weekend’s matchup…
Matt Ryan and Drew Brees combine for 900 yards passing
Regardless of Ryan and the Falcons and how they are doing this season, the $100 million man can still sling the ball all over the field and make defensive backs look like high school football players. Hopefully, Ryan has his cast of characters all on the mend, which should help the Falcons against the new-look New Orleans’ defense.
Watch Brees just throw it all over the place like he normally does. It is an indoor stadium that has no problems with weather and a place where Brees has had some of his best games.
This could be the shootout we all hope for.
Another huge game for Ingram
He finally burst on the scene two weeks ago against Dallas and plays a weak defense. Hopefully Mark Ingram can realize his potential again and run for over 100 yards and a couple of scores.
If he can do that against the Falcons' front seven, then there are more passing lanes opened for Brees. Do not be surprised to see Ingram with 100 yards again this week.
Also, how will the Falcons defense the change of pace style of Pierre Thomas? Double trouble for the Atlanta defense.
Huge day for Harry Douglas
If Matt Ryan is going to throw the ball all over the field, then someone needs to catch it all over the field. Douglas could be in for a huge day.
While Roddy White and Julio Jones have been out with injuries, Douglas has quietly had a good season and remains the glue that is holding this offense together.
He has also been solid while Tony Gonzalez and Steven Jackson have nursed injuries.
Watch Douglas put up huge numbers in garbage time.