Free NFL Picks Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints 9-26-10

September 23, 2010


Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Sunday September 26th, 2010 1 PM EST

The Line: New Orleans -4

This is going to be the game to watch this week. With two division rivals coming off impressive victories, this battle for NFC South supremacy is a must see. The teams won in a completely different fashion last week. The Falcons destroyed the Cardinals 41-7, despite having Michael Turner leave the game early with an injury. The Saints won on a last second field goal against the 49ers and escaped Candlestick with a near loss.

The Saints looked disoriented, out of sync, and flustered on Monday night. Frank Gore carved up the Saints’ defense with 112 rushing yards. The Saints showed vulnerability throughout the game, but especially on the last defensive outing. They were on their heals, and allowed Alex Smith to command a drive down the field when it mattered most. Drew Brees bailed them out with a great throw to put them in field goal range, but Saints did not look stable on defense.

With Reggie Bush sidelined with a broken leg, the Saints will have to look to Pierre Thomas to take on a larger Role. They are completely different backs, as the Saints utilize Reggie Bush in space and Pierre Thomas between the tackles. The Saints have a dimension that is taken away from their offense and special teams while Bush is out. While the Saints don’t rely heavily on anyone in the offense except Drew Brees, nobody is going to be able to fill the Reggie Bush void in his absence. They will need all the help they can get against the Falcons, and the injury could not have come at a worse time.

The Falcons showed no vulnerability against a struggling Cardinals team. After Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood left the game with injuries, an unlikely hero was born. Jason Snelling ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Turner appears to be ready to go this week, so Snelling’s assistance shouldn’t be needed. Matt Ryan and Michael Turner need to try to duplicate the performances of Frank Gore and Alex Smith.

If the Falcons can manage to eliminate turnovers, they stand a shot against the Saints. With the Saints defense coming off a disheartening week and the Falcons offense proving they have the potential to put up huge numbers, the Falcons should be competitive. The Saints proved last week that good teams find a way to win. They might come away with a victory next week, but I don’t see them covering.

Free NFL Pick: Falcons +4

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