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Keys to the Game: Saints vs. Falcons

hispandrix
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Defense

Nov 17, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Akiem Hicks (76) reacts after a sack against San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (not pictured) during the second quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan is in a huge slump. I guess there’s no other way to sugarcoat it, but he’s just looking horrible without having Julio Jones. Ryan has thrown 9 interceptions and has been sacked 10 times over his last 4 games. The Falcons offense is just a train wreck overall.

The Saints defense should be like sharks in the water who just picked up the scent of blood. Cam Jordan (7) & Junior Galette (6) have accounted for 13 of the Saints’ 32 sacks this season. The defense ranks 3rd in the NFL in passing yards allowed (191.4 yards/game), and 17th in rushing yards allowed (114 yards/game).

Keeping this trend should be a high priority, as it would be evident in the run stop. Remember the first game of the season when Steven Jackson had 11 carries for 77 yards (50 yard gain was the big play)? He has 192 rushing yards all season now. Granted, he’s been hurt. However, he’s proven to be a giant free agent bust signing by Arthur Blank. We can’t let everyone remember how he used to be a Saints killer, so controlling him will be something Rob Ryan should be ready for.

What To Watch For: Who Corey White matches up against. You know that Matt Ryan is going to target Corey White on the night, it’s just a given. With Keenan Lewis likely matching up against Roddy White, we should see Corey White on Harry Douglas. Douglas has been the Falcons hottest receiver, and Ryan’s go to target. In the first game, he caught 4 catches for 93 yards. He’s been targeted nearly 50 times (48 actual) over the last 5 games.

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