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Behind Enemy Lines: What the Atlanta Falcons are saying about the New Orleans Saints for Week 13

Get a Week 13 preview from Atlanta Falcons players and coaches

Game Details

In a matchup between two longtime foes, the New Orleans Saints (9-2) will march into Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thanksgiving night to face the Atlanta Falcons (3-8) in a nationally televised contest at 7:20 p.m. It will be the third time that the Saints have played on Thanksgiving, the second consecutive season between these clubs as the Saints captured the holiday evening last year 34-17 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Atlanta Falcons quotes

Coach Dan Quinn on the Saints defense without Marshon Lattimore:
"Yeah, I think number one, I think they've got real versatility. You know, that's what really jumped out to me.I think we've known about, obviously how good Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams are, but then, C.J. Gardner-Johnson you saw going inside to play inside at nickel and I think when you see safeties who've got versatility, corners who have versatility. Obviously anytime you lose somebody, for even a short period, as good as a (Marshon) Lattimore is, it's difficult, but credit the whole group. I thought their versatility allows them to really stay connected to how they want to play and I think they're proven they can do that."

Quinn on playing the Saints again so quickly:
"I think it helps for both sides. I'd say it probably helps if it's your second lap through. I think if it's a division game that players know one another best. I think that's probably the bigger push where anytime you're going (against) your division team and you'replaying them a second time there's probably more familiarity than from the year because all teams change year to year. Obviously, the feature players or new players and how would they fit into the offense? You've had some time, but I think it's probably more challenging when you do the Thursday games in the early part of the year because that might be your first go against them. I like when they do it for the division games, I think that's maybe the best way. There's natural competition amongst them. It'snot always worked out that way, but I kind of favor the divisional match-ups for the Thursday games. I think it adds something to it."

Linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich on game planning for Drew Brees: 
"On these short turnarounds, the game planning is maybe less for both sides of the ball. Whatever we call, we're going to have to execute at a high level. Drew Brees is one of the best in the business. It doesn't matter what you're playing - man, two, three, quarters, whatever it is. He knows how to beat every coverage and he has receivers that are very adept to taking advantage of every coverage. We're going to have to execute. We're going to have to play really, really well. That's true for every week but when you're playing the Saints, it feels heightened because of the talent they have."

Quarterback Matt Ryan on the Saints defensive front:
"Solid. Cameron Jordan is a great player. Very disruptive both in the run game and the pass game. You mentioned Marcus Davenport coming in. I think he's playing really well too. I think their defense on a whole has played excellent all season and certainly we have our work cut out for us."

Statistical Comparison

Table inside Article
Saints Falcons
Record 9-2 3-8
Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank) 24.7 (9) 22.0 (19)
Opp. Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank) 20.9 (14) 27.0 (28)
Total Off. (NFL Rank) 368.9 (12) 371.4 (10)
Rushing Off. (NFL Rank) 108.5 (17) 72.9 (31)
Passing Off. (NFL Rank) 260.5 (9) 298.5 (3)
Total Def. (NFL Rank) 321.3 (10) 376.3 (26)
Rushing Def. (NFL Rank) 88.5 (3) 109.9 (18)
Passing Def. (NFL Rank) 232.7 (14) 266.4 (27)
Kickoff Return Avg. (NFL Rank) 21.4 (21) 22.8 (13)
Punt Return Avg. (NFL Rank) 9.4 (4) 8.7 (8)
Turnover Margin (NFL Rank) +8 (4t) -8 (27)
Penalties 86 84
Penalty Yards 699 665
Opp. Penalties 60 86
Opp. Penalty Yards 469 715

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