Falcons have one hefty advantage over Saints in Week 1

Saints. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Saints. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

When the New Orleans Saints face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, they should know they’re probably already going to lose in this category.

Tight end production.

Falcons’ Kyle Pitts is entering his second season in the league after he put together a 1,000-plus yard receiving campaign as a rookie. He only scored one touchdown in 17 games last year, but he’s bound to improve in red-zone efficiency and serves as one of Atlanta’s most reliable pass-catchers in 2022.

By contrast, the Saints have a jumbled mess of a tight end unit with Adam Trautman, Nick Vannett, Taysom Hill, and Juwan Johnson. We hope you didn’t pick any of those guys for your fantasy team.

Saints must defensively prepare for Falcons’ Kyle Pitts in Week 1

There’s plenty of room for improvement in NOLA’s tight end room, and Trautman or Hill could feasibly enjoy career-best seasons at the position. Neither carry as much upside and talent as Pitts, however, and the Saints should have an air-tight gameplan for guarding Pitts in the season-opener.

As for the rest of the roster, the Saints hold the advantage at nearly every position group with the exception being the cornerback unit.

Just because the Saints have the better squad on paper doesn’t mean this will be a frolic in the park, though. Fans painfully remember the Falcons beating the Saints 27-25 in November of 2021 — quarterback Trevor Siemian almost completed a glorious comeback in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late, and Atlanta went home with the win.

In that game, running back Cordarrelle Patterson stole the show while Pitts had a decent but by no means impressive performance.

In 2022, Falcons’ Pitts and Patterson remain two of the offense’s most consistent weapons, but the team also has some unknown variables who could change the game: quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder and wideout Drake London, for example.

dark. Next. Saints vs Falcons Prediction and Odds for Week 1

The Saints should be careful to not get too cocky heading into this matchup — complacency won’t do them any favors in 2022.