1:02 pm
November 7

Falcons @ Saints

Who will WIN this matchup?

Atlanta Falcons (3-4)

@ New Orleans Saints (5-2)


Current odds:

Atlanta Falcons: (+240)

New Orleans Saints: (-280)


• The line for this game is Saints by 6.5 points.

• The New Orleans Saints began the season adjusting to Drew Brees’ retirement. Now they’re adjusting to the absence of his successor. Jameis Winston must undergo season-ending surgery to fix a torn ACL suffered in a 36-27 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday. That leaves New Orleans (5-2) scrambling to determine who will start at quarterback against the Atlanta Falcons (3-4) on Sunday in the Caesars Superdome.

• Taysom Hill competed with Winston during the preseason to succeed Brees and entered the season as the primary backup. But Hill has a valuable role playing a variety of positions that he would have to abandon if he became the starting quarterback. Additionally, he has been in concussion protocol since being injured 3 1/2 weeks ago and was limited in practice Wednesday. The other option to stand in for Winston is Trevor Siemian, who played well after Winston’s injury last week and is a former pupil of Falcons coach Arthur Smith as the Tennessee Titans’ emergency quarterback in 2020. Siemian completed 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

• New Orleans also learned this week that All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas, who hasn’t played this season after undergoing ankle surgery in June, suffered a setback in his rehab and won’t return in 2021.

• The Saints rushed for 152 yards against Tampa Bay, the most the Buccaneers have allowed this season. New Orleans could have more success rushing against a Falcons defense that yielded a season-worst 203 rushing yards in a 19-13 home loss to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday.

• Smith noted that despite the problems stopping the run, Atlanta only gave up 19 points. But Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan passed for a season-low 146 yards.

• Like the Saints, the Falcons are dealing with the absence of a key receiver. Calvin Ridley announced before the game against the Panthers that he needed “to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing.”

• One of those potentially great ones is rookie first-round pick Kyle Pitts, who was locked up last week by Stephon Gilmore and had two catches for six yards. Pitts went for 163 yards on seven grabs against Miami the week before.

• After a 1-3 start, Atlanta looked like it was putting things together in Smith’s first season with consecutive victories against the Jets and Dolphins before slipping against Carolina, which entered last week’s game having lost four games in a row.

StreakSmarter Pick
New Orleans Saints