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Falcons Hoping To Take Flight In The Superdome

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QB Matt Ryan and his Falcons will take on the Saints and QB Drew Brees for an early leg up in the NFC South in Sunday's matchup between two of the NFL's premier offenses. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
QB Matt Ryan and his Falcons will take on the Saints and QB Drew Brees for an early leg up in the NFC South in Sunday's matchup between two of the NFL's premier offenses. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Though the 2013 season was officially underway Thursday night, Atlanta Falcons fans can't wait for their season to start on Sunday. The "Dirty Birds" are looking to start off their quest for the Lombardi Trophy in the Superdome where they face their long time rivals, the New Orleans Saints.

With two of the most explosive offenses on the same field led by two premier gunslingers in Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, fans expect nothing but a shootout. With Saints coach Sean Payton back on the sidelines for New Orleans and the Falcons adding RB Steven Jackson to the mix, I can see an epic battle is about to unfold. In fact, you will see nothing but bombs from both squads and some doses of Jackson and the speedster Jacquizz Rodgers running the ball. Do not expect either defense to stop the opposing high-octane offense either as both teams are coming into the game with question marks on that side of the ball. In the Falcons case, the team needs its linebackers to put more pressure on the opposing quarterback. But then again, it should balance out with strong performances from DE Osi Umenyiora and the two rookie CBs Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.

The keys to victory are running through the often pourous Saints defensive unit and putting pressure on Brees. In the game that took place between these two teams on Nov. 29, 2012, Ryan and company played okay against the Saints, but it was Atlanta's defense that saved the day. The Falcons picked off Brees five times and sacked him once. The front seven should apply more pressure and chaos on Brees in this game, especially since the Saints still don not have a legitimate running game.

Meanwhile, I am still unsure how much the Saints defense will improve with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan calling the plays. The best way to find out is for them to stop Jackson early and often. Considering that Jackson is a north-south runner and he played excellent in the preseason, I just do not see that happening. The former Ram will find plenty of holes in that supbar defensive line to run through. And do not worry about Ryan, WR Roddy White and TE Tony Gonzalez - they will torch the Saints with an aerial assualt.

Atlanta, I hope y'all are ready for some smashmouth football on Sunday because this game will be the first stepping stone in the Falcons' quest for the Lombardi Trophy!

Final Score Prediction: Falcons 35, Saints 21