Keys to the Game: Falcons vs. Saints

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Offense

October 7, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates after throwing a first quarter touchdown pass during their game against the San Diego Chargers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Brees broke an NFL record previously held by Johnny Unitas for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook – USA TODAY Sports

Let’s just be honest here. You won’t see a repeat of last year’s Drew Brees’ Atlanta outing here. I find it very disturbing that some think that Drew Brees is due to just fall of the face of the earth this season, because ‘he’s old’.  I mean really, that’s all you got? When it comes to Atlanta, here’s the past five home game performances:

2012 – 21/32, 298 Yards, 3TD, INT (113.8 Rating) – 1 Sack
2011 – 23/39, 307 Yards, 4TD, 2INT (96.8 Rating) – 1 Sack
2010 – 30/38, 365 Yards, 3TD, 2INT (111.1 Rating) – 2 Sacks
2009 – 25/33, 308 Yards, 2TD, INT (111.7 Rating) – 2 Sacks
2008 – 18/32, 230 Yards, 2TD (99.7 Rating)

Brees has so many weapons in his arsenal, and you never know which one he will go to on any given down. The Saints faces on offense are very familiar, but very different at the same time. This will be the first time we get to see the different looks they Saints will provide. Just think about it. Ben Watson, Kenny Stills, Nick Toon, and Andy Tanner are guys who were not in the mix last year.

If I were to keep my eyes on any one player, it would be Charles Brown. He earned the starting job honors as a result of his hard work during training camp, and it’s not so much the blocking I am concerned about, it’s the penalties. The Drew Brees cadence & rhythm can quickly be thrown off by a mental error, and as we saw in the final game of the preseason, Sean Payton is not going to tolerate the penalties.

Look for a more balanced offensive attack Sunday, as you hopefully won’t see Drew Brees throw it 50 times. Now, if he’s on fire, and it works, sure, go right ahead. However, I bring it up time and time again, but Sean Payton wants to run the ball. If we can get Mark Ingram out of the gate going, then consider it a huge win. I think a strong rushing attack would be just what the Saints need, and if you can believe this, Sean Payton is 52-11 when the Saints rush for over 100 yards.

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Topics: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, NFL 2013 Week 1, NFL Week 1 Matchups, Rob Ryan, Sean Payton

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