WHEN: Noon Sunday.
WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans.
TV: Fox. RADIO: WTGE-FM, 100.7; WWL-AM, 870; 105.3-FM.
RECORDS: Falcons, 8-0; Saints: 3-5.
LAST WEEK: Falcons defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 19-13; Saints defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 28-13.
COACHES: Falcons, Mike Smith, 5th season (51-24); Saints, Joe Vitt, 2nd season (5-8).
Offense (league rank in parentheses)
Points: Falcons, 27.5 (7); Saints, 27.3 (8).
Total yards: Falcons, 376.6 (8); Saints, 386.4 (5)
Rushing: Falcons, 98.5 (25); Saints, 81.0 (30)
Passing: Falcons, 278.1 (8); Saints, 305.4 (2)
Defense (league rank in parentheses)
Points: Falcons, 17.9 (5); Saints, 28.6 (t28)
Total yards: Falcons, 356.3 (19); Saints, 471.3 (32)
Rushing: Falcons, 127.5 (24); Saints, 176.5 (32)
Passing: Falcons, 228.8 (14); Saints, 294.8 (29)
Falcons: QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR Julio Jones, DE John Abraham, OLB Sean Weatherspoon, FS Thomas DeCoud.
Saints: QB Drew Brees, RB Pierre Thomas, WR Marques Colston, DE Cameron Jordan, MLB Curtis Lofton, WLB Jonathan Vilma.
Offense: The Falcons are hitting on all cylinders with Matt Ryan having a solid season in connecting on 68.9 percent of his passes for 2,360 yards with 17 TDs. Running back Michael Turner is still solid, but the Falcons clearly are airing it out more this season with Ryan teaming up nicely with Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez.
Defense: They haven’t been spectacular in ranking 19th overall and 24th against the run, but the Falcons have gotten the job done where it counts the most. They allow just 17.9 points a game to rank fifth in the league and will be ready for revenge after giving up 71 points in two losses to the Saints last season.
Special teams: Kicker Matt Bryant is having a big season despite missing a pair of field goals last week. He’s still pretty accurate and has made both of his tries from 50 yards out. Punter Matt Bosher is averaging 46.6 yards per kick and tiny Jacquizz Rodgers is a dangerous return man.
The Falcons have two players with Louisiana ties — center Todd McClure, a former Central High and LSU standout, and quarterback Luke McCown, who played at Louisiana Tech and was in training camp with the Saints this summer. … Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, a former LSU assistant, is the son of former Saints coach Dick Nolan. … Wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie starred at LSU from 1973-76 and tight ends coach Chris Scelfo was Tulane’s head coach from 1998-2006. … The Falcons lead the all-time series, 45-40, and also won the only postseason meeting in 1991.
Compiled by Sheldon Mickles
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