The New Orleans Saints were riding a six-game winning streak when they were blindsided by the visiting Atlanta Falcons three weeks ago. The NFC South-leading Saints shouldn't be in danger of overlooking the Falcons again when they travel to Atlanta on Thursday.
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The Saints are trying to prove their misstep against the Falcons was an outlier, and they've bounced back with wins at Tampa Bay 34-17 and at home against Carolina 34-31. New Orleans can clinch the division crown with a third consecutive victory. Atlanta's stunning 26-9 win in Week 10 snapped a three-game skid against the Saints, and the Falcons were able to repeat the performance a week later in a 29-3 rout at Carolina. The Falcons weren't able to keep the momentum rolling despite being at home last week as their surging defense regressed in a 35-22 loss to Tampa Bay.
ABOUT THE SAINTS (9-2): Although New Orleans is in command in the NFC South, its defense is trending in the wrong direction. After holding five straight opponents to fewer than 260 total yards, the Saints have given up at least 317 in their past three contests, and the 351 total yards they surrendered to the Panthers last week marked their highest total since Week 3. Drew Brees and the offense slumped for a couple games before putting up 418 total yards last week as Brees threw three touchdown passes for the second straight game.
ABOUT THE FALCONS (3-8): After temporarily righting the ship, Atlanta was back to its signature struggles last week against the Buccaneers. The Falcons surrendered 446 total yards and had a hard time getting the run game going with 57 rushing yards. Matt Ryan (377 passing yards, two TDs) and Julio Jones (11 catches, 147 yards) went off against the Saints last Thanksgiving, and they will likely need a similar performance for the Falcons to sweep the season series.
1. Brees threw four touchdown passes and posted a 111.9 rating in a 31-17 home victory over the Falcons last Thanksgiving.
2. Saints WR Michael Thomas leads the NFL in receptions (104) and receiving yards (1,242), and has posted at least 10 catches and 100 receiving yards in three straight games at Atlanta.
3. Atlanta has topped 100 rushing yards only twice this season.
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Spence will spend the entire 2020 season on the Injured Reserve Non-Football Injury list due to a torn ACL.