The Falcons were one game away from a hard-fought, heated game in Atlanta two weeks ago, and they now make their way to New Orleans hoping to make the playoff as both teams are in the run for NFC South title.
There is then obviously the factor of revenge in play. The Saints haven’t defeated the Falcons since the 2015 NFL season. This is a long haul with the Saints going winless against the Falcons for three games, and one that many will watch over in 2018 with thier mobile devices when the NFL begins steaming the games live.
“This game means a lot, more so because it’s a division game, and more so because we haven’t beaten them in our last three opportunities to play them,” linebacker Craig Robertson said. “It’s another opportunity for me to get my first win against them since I’ve been a Saint.”
The results of the December 7th game only adds fuel to the fire, as it was the first time playing in the new Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta. The Saints fought it out against the Falcons in a battle that was filled with injuries, penalties, and showdown between Devonta Freeman and Sean Payton, the New Orleans coach.
With everything considered, Sheldon Rankins, defensive tackle for the Saints, was questioned whether meeting with the Falcons could be personal.
“You can label it that,” said Rankins “We won’t harp on it publicly, but in our meeting rooms, we’re definitely going to put in all the time and effort needed to get this win.”
The Saints are planning to keep the way they prepare for a game the same as they always have, even if the Saints met the Falcons two weeks ago.
Michael Thomas, wide receiver for the Saints said. “We’re just going to play Saints football. We’re going to have our team meeting on Wednesday, Coach is going to give us the keys to victory, and with those keys to victory we’re going to do whatever it takes.”
The Saints were already making mental notes on their list to do earlier this week after winning against the Jets on Sunday.
Rankins added “We want to clean up our rush defense because obviously, Atlanta’s going to want to run the ball. They’re going to watch this (Jets) game and see some things they want to attack. We’ve got to be able to counteract that.” Sean Payton mentioned that the Falcons are in most cases an opponent they are familiar with. They are expected to use the same defense and offensive system that the Saints witnessed last year. However, that won’t stop New Orleans as they browse through the Falcons’ previous games.
The Christmas Eve game is sure to see many tuning in and cheering for their teams, especially those who are interested or have placed a bet on American football. The holiday’s lead up always sees a large increase in football bettors visiting bookmakers, checking team and player stats as they gather the information needed to make educated bets.