Free NFL Pick: New Orleans at Atlanta 12-27-2010

December 27, 2010


New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Monday December 27th, 2010 8:30 PM EST

Line: Atlanta -3


The Atlanta Falcons are looking to not only clinch the NFC South, but also lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. At 12-2, the Falcons haven’t lost a game since Week 6 and have yet to drop a game at home. They will have their hands full on Monday Night, as they take on a division rival who took them into overtime in their last meeting.

The New Orleans Saints are 10-4, but a loss could push them to the brink of missing the playoffs. The Saints have two division games remaining on the schedule and will need at least one victory to propel them into the playoffs. They lost the last time they faced the Falcons and this time they are going on the road to take on Atlanta.

Keys to the Game:

  • Michael Turner has 1256 yards and 11 touchdowns and nobody has noticed. Matt Ryan and Roddy White have taken most of the media attention and unless you have Turner on your fantasy team, you probably don’t know that he has put up seven 100 yard performances this season. The Saints are below average at stopping the run, allowing 117 yards on the ground per game. The Falcons lead a balanced offense, but the Saints are solid against the pass, which could lead to more touches for Turner. If you want proof of the Saints’ inadequacies, check out the stat line for Ray Rice last week against New Orleans.
  • The Saints have to get the run game going. They have struggled transitioning back to the Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas backfield since the two have come back from injury. The Saints become a much better football team when their run game is going. They also utilize their running backs in the pass game more-so than most teams around the league. Even in a four wide set, one of the most dangerous players on the field is Reggie Bush when he is in the backfield. He alters the way teams gameplan, but he and Thomas need to have a solid outing to give them momentum heading into the playoffs. The best teams across the league can win in multiple ways. The Saints are one dimensional at this point.

Key Matchup:

Matt Ryan Vs. Drew Brees

  • Matt Ryan and Drew Brees aren’t Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, but they are certainly the next best thing. With over 4,000 yards, a 68.5% completion rate, and 31 touchdowns, Drew Brees is the undisputed leader of the Saints. Last time he played Atlanta, he torched the Falcons for 365 yards through the air. Don’t be surprised to see Brees launch the ball early and often. He had two interceptions along with his three touchdowns in their last meeting, surely he would like to play mistake free football this time around and come away with a victory.
  • Matt Ryan to Roddy White has been one of the best connections in football this season. It is surprising that Ryan has only thrown for 300+ yards in a game once this season, but with the production of Turner, he does not take on the same role that Drew Brees does. Ryan needs to limit turnovers and make big time throws when defenses present the opportunity to him. He is not a game manager by any means, as he has been the difference in a number f games this season. Whoever is able to limit turnovers in this matchup should come out with a win.

Wrap Up:

I like both of these teams, but there is not indication that the Falcons are going to lose. It is hard to believe that the team with the best record in the NFC is an underdog at this point, but I understand the Saints are a division rival fighting to remain playoff relevant. All that being said, the Falcons want home field advantage and the Saints are not going to stand in their way, especially at home where the Falcons have played lights out this season.

Free NFL Pick: Atlanta +3

CALL 516-852-4502 If you are serious about making MONEY....


Comments are closed.