It may be a little early to start calling some NFL games “must” wins but you can certainly label some early games as possible pivotal. This Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints contest in the Louisiana Superdome certainly looks to be one of them.
The Atlanta Falcons are in position to pull even with the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South. A win realistically puts them ahead of the defending Super Bowl Champions. Atlanta will have to play their A game and committing turnovers is an absolute no n o against this group. Matt Ryan should have the services of Michael Jenkins but his time is limited. More certain is the fact that the Falcons will need to have a big game on the ground with Michael Turner. The Saints have been vulnerable to the run as Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore posted big numbers in losing efforts. Ryan has to, I repeat, has to avaoid throwing interceptions and the running backs have to make protecting the ball their #1 priority.
For the Saints this is a huge chance to ice a big NFC South lead. Beating Atlanta would make them 3-0 and create basicall a 2 1/2 game lead over their expected rival in the NFC South. yes, I know Tampa Bay is 2-0 also, but can you expect the Buccaneers to prevail for much longer? The challenge for the Saints is top stop Turner but even molre so to develop some type of ground game to balance their attack. New Orleans is averaging 2.6 yards a carry, and the passing game has been anemic compared to 2009. The biggest advantage the Saints have is the home field. The Dome has to be rocking for the Saints to win.