Watch Monday Night Football Live Streaming Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints Live Online Week 03 match will be kick off at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, 26 September 2016 online, Time 08:30 ET and its broadcast CBS, ESPN, NFL Network Online.
The New Orleans Saints lost their first two games this season by a total of four points, so despite the 0-2 start, many players feel like the team is close to playing at the necessary level to start winning games.
Fortunately, as the Saints try to post their first win, they will have home field advantage as the Atlanta Falcons visit the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
The Saints have said they’re trying to keep the focus on the game, they could also have an emotional lift on the 10th anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina homecoming game, a 23-3 win over the Falcons in 2006 in which Steve Gleason had his legendary punt block.
Of course, there are only a handful of players remaining on the two teams from that game 10 years ago, so here are three key matchups that could determine Monday’s game:
Saints LB Craig Robertson vs. Falcons TEs
Obviously, Robertson won’t be the only player responsible for defending Atlanta’s talented group of tight ends, but the Saints would be wise to try to use him to create a favorable matchup with his coverage skills.
Through two games, tight end Jacob Tamme leads the Falcons with 11 catches and is second with 126 receiving yards. The 31-year-old isn’t the only threat at the position, though, as Atlanta also features Austin Hooper, a third-round pick this year from Stanford.
In the Falcons’ win over the Oakland Raiders last week, Hooper had three catches for 84 yards, so, clearly, Atlanta will try to utilize them. And whether it’s Robertson, Stephone Anthony or a safety, the Saints have to try to limit the tight ends.
With Tyeler Davison (shoulder/foot) questionable Monday, the Saints could be without one of their starting defensive tackles. Fortunately, John Jenkins has been solid through two games, so there might not be much of a fall off if Davison can’t play the nose spot.
Still, this will be the Saints’ first game against a new-look Falcons offensive line that features veteran center Alex Mack, the longtime starting center for the Cleveland Browns. Jenkins, Nick Fairley, David Onyemata and anyone else who plays inside will have to try to push Mack and guards Andy Levitre and Chris Chester as much as possible.
Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman can create explosive plays for the Falcons, so the Saints have to close all the gaps quickly to prevent Atlanta from having a successful rushing attack.
The Saints haven’t had much success running the ball this year, but after having just 13 rushing attempts in Week 2, they’re definitely going to try to find some balance.
Fortunately for the Saints, Falcons starting Will linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (ankle) is out, and one of their top backups, Paul Worrilow (groin) won’t play either. Atlanta still has some speed in the linebacker corps with Deion Jones and Vic Beasley, but the Saints should feel good about their matchup if Mark Ingram and the other backs can reach the second level.
Plus, the Falcons were tied for 25th in rushing defense after two weeks, so if there’s ever a time for the Saints to prove they can run successfully, it should be this week.