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Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints renew rivalry at Superdome

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!?

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!?

What better way to start the 2013 NFL regular season than with a rivalry match between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons? This game has been eagerly anticipated since the schedule was first announced, and it is not likely to disappoint. Kickoff for this high-profile contest is noon CT and will be broadcast on FOX Sports.

Sean Payton’s return

It’s been a year since Saints head coach Sean Payton roamed the sidelines for a regular season game. The energy in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome dome should be off the charts. Expect nonstop high-flying offensive attacks and plenty of points scored. As Payton himself said, “Daddy’s home.”

In my humble opinion, the drama of Payton’s return would have been better set in a primetime slot, but we all know that watching the Dallas Cowboys take on the New York Giants is so much more important. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)

Revamped defense

The New Orleans defense was simply terrible last year. Even in their first meeting against Atlanta, when they made key stops in the end zone to hand the Falcons their first loss of the season, they still gave up 454 yards in their first meeting.

Ironically, they had their best showing in a loss to the Falcons later in the year. Despite the five interceptions tossed by quarterback Drew Brees, the defense held Atlanta to only 23 points on those five extra possessions and a 10-point win overall. They surrendered only 283 yards on 13 drives and surrendered just 165 yards passing and a single touchdown to Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

No matter how good or bad New Orleans happens to be, this defense has a knack for stepping up against the Falcons. Let’s see if new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan can keep that streak alive.

If you're expecting the contest between the New Orleans and the Atlanta Falcons to turn into a rout, you're probably destined for disappointment.

If you’re expecting the contest between the New Orleans and the Atlanta Falcons to turn into a rout, you’re probably destined for disappointment.

Steven Jackson

Atlanta already has one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL. Their arsenal of weapons is loaded with wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, tight end Tony Gonzalez, and now running back Steven Jackson.

Some observers believe that Jackson could be the piece that pushes this team over the top to the championship that has long eluded them; others think he is too old. This will be our first real glimpse at which side may be correct. Expect the Falcons to set off some fireworks of their own.

Terrific two

This offseason, Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez decided to forestall retirement for one more year in pursuit of the championship ring that has always eluded him, proving he is not yet ready to pass off the torch just yet.

What this means is that for at least the next year, we get to see one of the best head-to-head match-ups the NFL has to offer: Tony Gonzalez, the greatest tight end in league history, squaring off against Jimmy Graham, arguably the top tight end in football today. Both men always put up fantastic numbers when facing each other’s team, making this one of the best highlights the Falcons/Saints rivalry has to offer.

History lesson

For those of who have been predicting both teams to score 30 or more points, a low score for the Saints, or even a Falcons win, here are some things to know:

  • Atlanta is 6-0 all-time against New Orleans in opening-day contests.
  • Since 2006, the Falcons have beaten the Saints three times, twice by more than six points.
  • Since 2006, the Saints have scored 24 or fewer points against Atlanta in only six of the 14 meetings.
  • Only three times did that happen in the Superdome.
  • Atlanta has scored 30 or more points on the Saints just once since 2006, and that was at the Georgia Dome.

What can we take away from this? By all means, expect a high-scoring game, but the smart bet says that only the winning team will reach the 30-point mark.

And that team is usually the Saints.

Who do YOU pick?

Saints or Falcons — whom do you pick?

1833 comments
Rarely Evenn
Rarely Evenn

Has anyone seen Drew Brees' Tide commercial? It is so corny.

Rarely Evenn
Rarely Evenn

Why do so many people dislike Jay Cutler? Dude is a gunslinger.

matt_vfalcon32
matt_vfalcon32

I hope the falcons fixed their problems as far as covering TE's..or actually putting a defender on one.

jmac3444
jmac3444

teams with a 5k passers will not make the playoffs

FalconsFan0125
FalconsFan0125 moderator

Bold Prediction:

Trufant gets a pick on Brees. 

matt_vfalcon32
matt_vfalcon32

what the hell? fox channel is screwing up!!! they better fix this by game time!

matt_vfalcon32
matt_vfalcon32

You know how they say never go grocery shopping when your hungry..well never go on a beer run 2 hours before the game...bought too much, i'm gonna be drunk before the game even starts.

FalconsFan0125
FalconsFan0125 moderator

I cant wait to see this offense come together for the first time. In the preseason the Falcons were missing Tony G, Julio and Roddy at different times. Now they will be on the field at the same time! Cant wait...

robertj72
robertj72

So what is everyone doing today. Golf? Fishing? Maybe just going to the park with the kids for the afternoon?

LSU4LIFE
LSU4LIFE

@Rarely Evenn Gunslinging and making stupid decisions with the ball,are two different things.

Maized and Confused
Maized and Confused

You mean besides all the ints, the pouting, the skulking away from coaches on the sidelines....

FalconsFan0125
FalconsFan0125 moderator

A 5k passer means that the QB is overworked and trying too much. 

Id prefer a 4200-4700 yd passer with a decent Run game and defense. 

DanOnWis23
DanOnWis23

@FalconsFan0125 I'm going to go with my wife to see the latest Romantic Comedy where you know the leads will be together in the end but it's all about the extremely dull and predictable journey that is sure to include an inane musical montage.

robertj72
robertj72

@FalconsFan0125 Really. Because they tried to give you a hint. In hindsight you see that right. Psst...Freedie Mercury, of Queen, gay, for realsies.

FalconsFan0125
FalconsFan0125 moderator

They didnt get together in the break-up. I was in utter shock!