Live: Falcons finally in can’t-lose situation vs. Saints

Julio Jones will play against New Orleans despite a hip injury. (Scott Cunningham, Getty Images)

Julio Jones will play against New Orleans despite a hip injury. (Scott Cunningham, Getty Images)

Julio Jones will play against New Orleans despite a hip injury. (Scott Cunningham, Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS – The Falcons have finally reached that point for a 5-9 football team that usually arrives long before 5-9 does: If they lose, they’re done.

They face NFC South rival New Orleans (6-8), which leads Carolina (5-8-1) by a half-game and the Falcons by a game with two to go. The Falcons can win the division if they win their next two games against the Saints and Carolina (next week at the Georgia Dome). They’re eliminated with a loss but can remain alive with a tie.

Wide receiver Julio Jones is active for the Falcons after missing last week’s game against Pittsburgh and sitting out all week with a hip injury. But logic suggests he’s not at full strength so it remains to be seen how effective he will be.

Falcons-Saints games tend to be unpredictable. The only unlikely thing today is a low-scoring game. These are the two worst defensive teams in the league. The Falcons rank 32nd (409.9 yards), the Saints 31st (390.1). In points allowed, the Falcons rank 28th (26.4), the Saints 29th (26.7).

A few other notables:

— Right guard Jon Asamoah (back) is out with a back injury. Gabe Carimi will start.

— The Falcons, who won the season opener over the Saints, haven’t swept a season series from New Orleans since 2005, the year the Saints’ home game was in San Antonio (because of Hurricane Katrina). The Falcons haven’t swept a season series with a win in the Superdome since 2002.

— The Saints strangely have lost four straight home games after winning 20 in a row.


A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Falcons still have playoff shot — and that’s not a negative
— MyAJC: There goes Justin Upton, and maybe ’15 season with him
— AJC: Justin Upton is latest chapter of Braves’ strip down
— MyAJC: Ranking Atlanta’s head coaches, from Budenholzer to…
— AJC: After crushing Cavs, Hawks (18-7) have earned some attention
— MyAJC: Expect Falcons’ roster overhaul, regardless of finish
— AJC: 5 thoughts on Falcons, starting with Arthur Blank’s marketing problem
— MyAJC: John Hart: ‘It’s not like I’m breaking up the ’27 Yankees’
— AJC: Falcons reality check: One great half won’t get it done
— AJC: What would it take for Falcons to keep Mike Smith
 — MyAJC: Hawks go from off-cour embarrassment to on-court success
— AJC: Playoff committee got teams right but changes are needed
— AJC: Jimbo Fisher leaves Georgia off ballot; Bielema puts Tech 19th on his (huh?)
— AJC: Playoff committee got teams right but changes are needed
— MyAJC: SEC title: Mizzou can’t compete with Alabama –nor can any team
— AJC: Short takes: Sims leads way as Alabama rules SEC again
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Georgia Tech ends Florida State’s run
— AJC: New rankings make college football playoff look like set up
— MyAJC: Rare situation: Eyes are off Bulldogs and on Jackets

 

Reader Comments 0

1296 comments
Goldwater
Goldwater

Let's start a Save Sean Payton campaign in Atlanta!  

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

For everyone drinking the Falcons kool-aid, don't forget they still have only beat 1 team outside of their pathetic division- Arizona. Ironically this is the same team that's likely to come to Atlanta in round 1 to play in front of several thousand empty seats again.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GeorgeJetsen

Pizzes you off that they won, doesn't it.

How them grapes tasting? Pretty sour, I expect.

KillerMike
KillerMike

So will Professor D-Led be giving Ryan another C-minus grade? After all, he missed a couple of receivers with "grisly" throws. Forget that 106 passer rating and no turnovers.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Whoever wins this division will lose draft position and be an embarrassment to the NFL. This opportunity is tailor made for a Falcons franchise very familiar with being on the wrong side of the recordbook.

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

Act like uve been here before people, the Falcons are the last team to beat the Seahawks in the playoffs and were in the NFC title game 2 years ago.  Us "making" the playoffs does nothing to excite me, i want Super Bowl or bust!   Yall sound like Dolphins or Viking fans, just happy to make the first round with no threat of being super bowl winners.  We needed ONE more GREAT draft to go back to being a dominant team!    Lets see how many of you fans on here are happy come draft day.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@BravesFan79

You epitomize EVERYTHING that's earned ATL the "Losersville" label. You actually hope the team loses.

Loser!

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

@DawgNole @BravesFan79  Says the guy who wanted us to get rid of Matt Ryan just last week.  This isnt college dude, and the Falcons can NOT get better by recruiting like UGA can.  Go back to posting on your college boards and being happy about all the whogivesasht.com bowls, and leave the PRO talk to us pro fans.  

GetBackJojo
GetBackJojo

Good flight home Falcons. Merry Christmas. Rest-up, then Rise-up. Surprise the fans, and talking heads. You CAN do this.

Fierce
Fierce

Take it for what it is. You beat the Panthers next week, you host the Cards most likely. Winnable game by every stretch of the imagination. At Green Bay? Play two halfs, and you might have something. Once you're in, anything is possible. 

GetBackJojo
GetBackJojo

Thanks for the blog Jeff, but I really miss the stick figure game zone.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

             sAints eliminated from playoff contention after loss to the powerful

                                        ATLANTA FALCONS.


BravesFan79
BravesFan79

Kiss getting a difference maker in the draft goodbye!    Unless we pay crazy $ to land Suh our D line is gonna continue to be one of the worst in the league over the next few years.  

DawgNole
DawgNole

@BravesFan79

You just don't get it.

Dimitroff is in charge of the draft, so draft position means NOTHING.

Duh!

Fierce
Fierce

@BravesFan79 Everyone, look here. The reason Falcon fans are ridiculed by NFL fans elsewhere. Instead of taking what the team gives you, which is a sweep of the saints, and in play for the division title and hosting a playoff game, we get these comments. 

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

@DawgNole @BravesFan79  Id say our record of picking in the top 10 has been pretty damn good!   NOW the draft will mean nothing as we will likely pick up another Rasheed Hagelman.  

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

@Snoclaf @BravesFan79 The difference is i believe the Falcons are a really good draft away from being Super Bowl contenders, while most on this blog wanted to blow the whole thing up!   Some say 1 player dosent matter, but look at how much better we were with Abraham!  

Maggot_Man
Maggot_Man

Big letdown. Was looking forward to being put out of my misery and all the OL draft picks by Dimitroff.

Rhetoric
Rhetoric

Seen is going to be crying and moaning about the refs.

Cobbox
Cobbox

When you least expect it

GASpider
GASpider

Beat Carolina, host playoff game - win, go to Green Bay(we can score on that 'D')......dream big...need to stay away from Seattle.......that would be ugly

falconsfan4ever
falconsfan4ever

The  saints deserve everything they get. Go Carolina. knock the saints out completely.


TOJacket
TOJacket

The D was awesome today!!!!!!....................you fans suck............cheer for the Aint's.

Tvshooter
Tvshooter

Yes. Much as I have criticized the defense, they played very well fir most all the game, and made several key stops.

Now we need the same out of the offense.

DawgNole
DawgNole

Blog has ground to a halt.

1,200-plus comments will do that.

How bout them Falcons!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GetBackJojo
GetBackJojo

@DawgNole @GetBackJojo True that....NFL channel amazed at the playing of Cam Newton today after his accident. Oh the power of pain medication. Next week at home we need to hook Julio up. # Nopain.

Rhetoric
Rhetoric

Biermann played a good game.

EbertsGhost
EbertsGhost

D'line. Pressure. Sacks. Its what consistently winning teams do. We got it today and we won in spite of lackluster offensive play. Get a pass rush we can depend on and this franchise will turn around.

Hank Kimball
Hank Kimball

OK so we just went from a 7th slot first round to like twenty something.

EbertsGhost
EbertsGhost

@DforDawgs Anytime you can take down the Saints in front of their own fans, its worth it. Falcons have too many holes to fill to worry about one pick.