NEW ORLEANS, Sporting Alert – NFL Week 6 fixtures get going on Thursday night with the 5-0 Atlanta Falcons looking to extend its undefeated season record when they travel to the New Orleans Saints.
Atlanta: The Falcons come into this battle sitting alone at the top of the NFC South Division and are one of six teams with a perfect record so far on the term.
Atlanta has scored 162 points and allowing 112 through its opening five games. The team is passing for an average 280.2 yards per game and rushing for 126 – both of which are in the top 10 rankings in the league this term.
At 32.4 points per contest, the Falcons are ranked 3rd in the NFL in that category, while their 22.4 points against ranks them 15th in the NFL on the defensive side.
New Orleans: The Saints (1-4), as they did last season, are again off to a shaky start. New Orleans sits in the top three for passing yards, at 302 yards per game, but things aren’t as colourful in the rest of the columns.
In fact, the club ranks last among the 32 teams in the NFL in yards allowed per game, at 409 yards, while sitting 30th in rushing yards allowed per game.
Nevertheless, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan remains confident a turnaround is on its way.
But for now, he is taking the blame for the team’s poor performances on defense.
“Stats don’t mean anything to us,” Ryan said on NFL.com. “I know what it looks like. … [A breakthrough] is coming.
“I know it is. Just keep blaming me. Keep blaming me and that will be great.”
Going For Three: The Falcons are hunting their third successive win against the Saints after sweeping their opponents last season – doing so for the first time in the series since 2005.
The last time out, Atlanta battled its way to a comeback overtime 25-19 victory over Washington, a game the host defense held the Redskins to just 51 yards rushing.
For New Orleans, the team is coming off a disappointing 39-17 loss at the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, despite Drew Brees passing for more than 300 yards for the second successive game and receivers Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead each reaching 100 yards receiving for the first time.
Falcons running back Devonta Freeman has been dominant so far this season – rushing for 405 yards on 93 carries with eight touchdowns, and he is expected to be a handful for the Saints on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, Falcons will be without linebacker Justin Durant, who has been ruled out of the game with an elbow injury.
Wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is listed as probable, but he is expected to be fit for the visitors.
Thursday, October 15
NFL Week 7
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
Time: 7:25 PM CBS/NFL
Place: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
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