Falcons-Saints Preview - Sporting News 10/28 (1 Viewer)

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Falcons-Saints Preview
STATS Writer
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 - 6:20 p.m. ET

The New Orleans Saints' unbeaten start has come entirely outside the NFC South, but a seventh straight victory could give them a crystal-clear path to a division title.

A Monday night win over visiting Atlanta would also match the best start in franchise history and keep the Saints alone atop the NFC, and the Falcons' defense will need to improve quickly if it hopes to slow Drew Brees' high-powered attack.

A trip to Miami provided New Orleans with its stiffest test Sunday, and after spending most of their season playing from ahead, the Saints (6-0) erased a 21-point first-half deficit and scored 22 unanswered in the fourth quarter to beat the Dolphins 46-34.

One more win would match the 1991 Saints, the only time the club has begun 7-0, and the previous victory only served to confirm New Orleans' claims that this season's team is different from its previous offensive-minded versions - even though it still boasts the NFL's top-ranked offense.

"Everyone thinks we're a finesse team and we're always up early, but here we showed that we can come from behind," running back Mike Bell said. "There was a major (deficit) at halftime, and we came back, and persevered, and we stuck together." ...

... With Carolina and Tampa Bay struggling, Atlanta (4-2) seems like the Saints' primary threat, and the Falcons will be eager to rebound from Sunday's disappointing 37-21 loss at Dallas.

"If we've got any chance of winning the division, I think the guys in the locker room know this is a big game for us," running back Michael Turner said. "We don't want to fall three games behind. In the NFL it's tough to catch up once you fall that many games behind and they have a win on you already. We've got to do whatever it takes to pull off this win on Monday."

Atlanta's biggest concern may be with the team's 25th-ranked defense, which struggled to slow down Dallas' Tony Romo, who threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns.

"We stopped the run for the most part," defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux said. "We just couldn't get after them enough on our third downs and our pressure rushes. Those are some things we've got to get better on, especially this week with Drew Brees, one of the best quarterbacks in the league passing the ball right now."
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http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2009-10-28/falcons-saints-preview
 

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