Four games out of the first five games into the season with the prospect of falling five games out of the first six games into the season. That's the reality the Saints face should they lose to the Falcons tomorrow night.
All the statistical advantages belong to the unbeaten Falcons. The Saints' advantages are harder to quantify. For the Saints those might be the chance to play at home for the first time on a Thursday night, that another primetime home game against Dallas produced their only victory thus far in the season, and the fact that the only visitor who evokes more passion in the home fans than the cowboys are tomorrow night's opponent.
Otherwise, the challenge is a huge one for the Saints on any number of levels. The Saints run the ball poorly. The Falcons held the Redskins' number one rushing attack to 51 yards a week ago.
The Falcons have excellent balance between the run and the pass offensively. The Saints’ defense has been ineffectual in stopping either.
The Falcon pass rush has produced a paltry six sacks. But Drew Brees went down five times last week alone and is on a pace to suffer over 50 sacks this season, obliterating his career high.
The Falcons have a growing belief in themselves and their destination, sort of like the Super Bowl Saints of 2009. Atlanta's the first team in NFL history to go 5 and 0 after coming from behind four times in the fourth quarter for four of those victories.
Are they due for their luck to run out tomorrow night?
The Falcons say they "refuse to lose" like the old days. The Saints hope to "win again" as they once did.
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