The New Orleans Saints (9-2) face off against a familiar foe in Week 13, the Atlanta Falcons (4-7). In the 104th meeting between the arch rivals, the Saints can become the first NFC team in 2020 to clinch a playoff berth. On the other side, the Falcons look to prevent a clean sweep after dropping the first matchup 24-9 in Week 10. Below the Saints News Network Krewe shares their Keys to a Saints Victory in Atlanta, GA this afternoon.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Taysom Hill's Arm
Taysom Hill will be a big factor in the running game, along with Kamara and Latavius Murray. I expect the Falcons to load the box with extra defenders to slow the run. It will be up to Hill and his receivers to defeat that scheme with crisp passes into the secondary, quick decisions with his throws and big plays down the field against one-on-one coverage.
The jury is still out whether Taysom Hill can be a quality NFL passer. If the Saints are going to win this rematch against their hated rival, Hill will have to answer that question today against an Atlanta defense that ranks 31st against the pass.
Kyle T. Mosley
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Contain the Deep Ball
New Orleans rushing attacks from both sides of the football will be the key in this NFC clash. The Saints need rushers Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, and yes, Taysom Hill to ground and pound the football against the Falcons front seven.
On the flip side, without edge rusher Marcus Davenport (concussion), defensive ends Cam Jordan, Trey Hendrickson, and Carl Ganderson must get to Ryan early and often in the Falcons pocket. An uneasy Matt Ryan is better to contain his deep threats in Jones and Ridley.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Whatever It Takes
New Orleans enters their Week 13 game against Atlanta looking for a sweep and to remain perfect on the year against the NFC South. This time around, it certainly feels a bit different. Not having Terron Armstead (COVID-19) and Janoris Jenkins (knee) are two big losses for the Saints, but this is a team who has gotten by with their depth all year. This looks to be a different product from their previous meeting two weeks ago, as Matt Ryan should get the ball out faster and obviously not look to take 8 sacks again.
The Taysom Hill era has worked thus far, but hasn't exactly been pretty. However, the team is getting it done on the ground instead of the air, which is something weird to see in itself. The Saints are coming off a game where they had over 220 rushing yards against the Broncos, and that could be a familiar strategy to use today to help control the time of possession and keep Atlanta's offense off the field.
Call it a gut feeling, but this feels like the game where Taysom Hill goes off and has a superb day to silence his critics. It's Atlanta, so you have to do whatever it takes to win, as they always play the Saints hard.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Taysom's Ability to Throw From the Pocket
Taysom Hill has led the Saints to a 2-0 record as a starting NFL quarterback but many still question if he can be the Saints long term answer following Drew Brees' eventual retirement. In two weeks under Hill the Saints offense is averaging over 27 points per game and have moved the ball effectively in the rushing attack. Though the statistics say the Saints have not missed a beat offensively, the concerns lie in Taysom's timing and accuracy as a passer.
Against Atlanta, just two weeks ago, Hill completed 18 of 23 passes (78%) proving to be a quality NFL quarterback. Last week in Denver those numbers dipped as Hill completed only 56% of his passes and the offense appeared stagnant throughout the blowout victory.
Sunday, Hill faces a team he has already seen as an NFL starter and one he has had success against. The key is to continue to grow as a passer and show Atlanta a side of the offense they did not see in the first matchup. If Hill can be an accurate and affective passer it will only open up the rest of the offense and make it a long afternoon for Raheem Morris' team.
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