The NFC South landscape continues to change. First, Drew Brees' retirement, and today, Julio Jones' trade outside of the division and conference.
No Julio, no problem?
But, not so fast, Saints fans and Who Dats. And, turn down Ray Charles' 'Hit the Road Jack' music in the background.
Julio may not be in the NFC South this season, but New Orleans still must face him with possibly a better and more dynamic offense than in Atlanta.
The odd fact is the previous years' offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith, he's now the head coach of the Falcons. So, expect a change in offensive philosophy for the Titans under new OC Todd Downing.
The Saints will travel to Tennessee in a Week 10 'Clash with the Titans."
Remember, the New Orleans' defensive backfield is not entirely set since they released CB Janoris Jenkins during the offseason.
Oh yeah, Jenkins signed with the Titans!
The Saints had to handle the 5x All-Pro wide receiver for ten seasons. Since Marshon Lattimore's arrival in 2017, Jones hasn't had the best of games versus New Orleans.
Lattimore and the Saints secondary surrendered 39 catches for 702 yards in 7 games since 2017. The biggest stat is missing here - ZERO touchdowns.
The 2017 DROY has defended 11 passes versus the Falcons in his career.
Jones has 102 receptions for 1,615 yards and three touchdowns in 18 appearances against the Saints in his career.
Still, how will Julio's trade impact the Saints?
- New Orleans' defense will not face him twice per year.
- No extra coverage to roll over and protect against Jones' big-play ability.
- The Saints' shorter corners will no longer be affected by his 6-3 and 220-pound frame.
- DC Dennis Allen can call more blitzes and flood zones against Atlanta than in previous games.
Overall, the impact is positive for the Saints vs. Atlanta in 2021.
Calvin Ridley has been a thorn in the side of the Saints. In six games, Ridley has scored four touchdowns and caught 36 passes for 556 yards.
New Orleans will play Atlanta at home in Week 9 and Week 18 in Atlanta for the season's finale.
The New Orleans Saints have a 21-9 winning record over the Atlanta Falcons since Sean Payton and Drew Brees came to the franchise in 2006.
But, without Julio Jones in the Falcons' lineup, don't expect New Orleans defenders to shed a single tear missing his presence.
You may like to read more Saints News:
- The Impact of the Julio Jones Trade on the Saints - Read here
- 3 Saints Players Who Need to Deliver in 2021 - Read here
- Bobby Hebert on the Saints, Jameis, Taysom, Tebow, Julio, and more - Read here
- Saints Offseason Calendar Dates to Remember - Read here
- Saints Rookies Turner and Book selected for 2021 NFLPA Rookie Premiere Class - Read here