Rivalry games are a great way to open the NFL football season, and that’s what fans get with today’s Saints / Falcons game in the Georgia Dome. The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons have always played tough, even last year when the 11-5 Saints went down to the last drive of a game against the 4-12 Falcons. The action should be just as live in today’s season opener.
The New Orleans offense was virtually unstoppable at home last season and struggled a bit on the road. We’ll find out whether that pattern will hold true again this season as today’s 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST game is in the Georgia Dome. Last season Atlanta’s home record was just 3-5, a mirror of the Saints’ 3-5 record on the road.
Saints QB Drew Brees has a new target this season in wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Cooks, a first-round pick out of Oregon State this year, has incredible speed and put up some impressive numbers in the preseason. As a senior last year Cooks scored 16 TDs while amassing 128 receptions and 1,730 receiving yards.
Cooks is listed at the bottom of the team’s chart at wide receiver, but it’s unclear what his role will be in today’s Saints / Falcons game or for the next few weeks. With Saints receiver Kenny Stills ruled out of today’s Falcons game, Cooks may get more snaps than the depth chart implies.
The Atlanta Falcons have their own “new” wide receiving weapon in Julio Jones. Jones missed all but five games last year with a broken foot, and the Saints secondary didn’t have to watch him in last year’s 17-13 win over the Falcons. The Saints were fortunate they didn’t have to.
Before missing the Falcon’s last 11 games, Jones was on pace for 1,856 yards and 6 TDs. Now that he’s 100%, there’s no question he’ll be a big target for quarterback Matt Ryan as you watch today’s Saints / Falcons game live.
While both offenses may click today, the defensive edge goes to the New Orleans Saints. Last season the Saints finished with the fourth-best defense in the league, while the Falcons ranked a lowly 28th. The Saints have also won 13 of the 16 games these teams have played since 2006, though seven of the past 11 games have been decided by four points or fewer.
The game is being broadcast live on FOX. If you’re not near a TV you can watch Saints vs Falcons online free live stream via DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket MAX package. That package requires a subscription, but all subscribers can watch the game online free via the DirecTV live stream if they’re stuck watching via their smartphone, tablet or PC.