Thursday basically 'must-win' for Falcons in NFC South race

Thursday basically 'must-win' for Falcons in NFC South race

Indeed, the defending NFC South champion Falcons are in serious trouble and in danger of being dethroned after falling at home Sunday to the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings 14-9, dropping them two games behind the Saints and into third place in the division.

The last four games in Atlanta were decided by a total of 16 points.

With conference matchups becoming more relevant and division games affecting the landscape of the playoff race, teams are fighting for division crowns and wild card spots in hopes of continuing their season in January.

How serious? The Falcons actually put together a signed letter from Quinn that fans can give to their bosses excusing them for either being late or working from home Friday as a result of the energy they'll expend Thursday night.

The Falcons are 5-4 all-time in Thursday night games and 1-2 versus the Saints.

The Atlanta Falcons now find themselves in the mix of teams in the NFC competing for one of the two wild card spots. I don't expect the Saints defense to replicate Minnesota's performance but after Philadelphia's loss last Sunday, they now have a golden opportunity to win here and challenge for the NFC title and that will surely light a fire under them.

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The Falcons won both meetings against the Saints in 2016, on the way to the NFC championship and a Super Bowl berth.

Brian Allee-Walsh is a long-time Saints reporter based in New Orleans. Will get a better indication of that come tomorrow night. Not surprising, the Falcons are 0-5 in games where they don't score a lot of points. Drew Brees went 25-34 for 269 yards and a touchdown while Mark Ingram made 14 rushes for 85 yards and a touchdown and Michael Thomas led the receivers with 5 catches for 70 yards and touchdown. That's a tall order for any National Football League team, but remember that the Falcons didn't really hit their stride in 2016 until about this point in the regular season.

However, the Carolina Panthers are in the mix as well, but the Atlanta Falcons at this point, look to be the bigger threat.

Ingram has rushed for 922 yards and nine touchdowns this season, while Kamara has rushed for 606 and seven touchdowns.

The last time the Saints faced Atlanta was on New Years Day in 2017. The game plan, the install and what you're trying to do to take care of your body as well.

Offensively, the Falcons must get back to their routine of using a solid rushing to allow for Ryan to take shots through the air and make the better decisions on first and second down to prevent long third-down situations. Then, on Christmas Eve the Dirty Birds play in New Orleans for a nice Christmas snack. Rookie corner Marshon Lattimore has more than held his own as the Saints No. 1 corner. Ryan threw four touchdowns.