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The Saints Will Need More Than Sean Payton To Beat The Falcons

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The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will square off in a Week 1 matchup between two NFC South powerhouses. What does New Orleans have to do to come out on top? Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will square off in a Week 1 matchup between two NFC South powerhouses. What does New Orleans have to do to come out on top? Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Sunday's game that pits the New Orleans Saints against the division foe Atlanta Falcons will be a total case of calling Dial-A-Score, which is both exciting and heart wrenching at the same time.

There is not a doubt that both teams would have loved this game to be played at a later date, but instead it is here today and is upon them. Make no mistake about it - a loss would be huge for both teams as far as winning the division goes in the long run, and both teams know it.   

Here are the 2012 stats for both teams, courtesy of Pro-Football Reference:

Saints

Home Record:               4-4-0  

Away Record:                 3-5-0  

Record vs. Spread:       8-8-0  

Points Scored:               461 (5th)  

Points Allowed:              454 (31st)   

Takeaway Diff.:               +2 (14th)  

Pass Yds/Game:           312 (1st)  

Rush Yds/Game:           98 (25th)

Def. Pass Yds/Game:   292 (31st)

Def. Rush Yds/Game:   147 (32nd)  

Team Leaders

Drew Brees: 422/670, 5,177 yards, 43 TD, 19 INT  

Marques Colston:  83 rec, 1,154 yards, 10 TD  

Mark Ingram: 156 rush, 602 yards, Five TD  

Jabari Greer:  Three INT, 36 tackles  

Cameron Jordan: 8.0 sacks, 40 tackles  

Falcons

Home Record:               7-1-0  

Away Record:                 6-2-0

Record vs. Spread:       9-7-0  

Points Scored:               419 (2nd)  

Points Allowed:              299 (10th)  

Takeaway Diff.:               +13 (5th)  

Pass Yds/Game:           281 (6th)  

Rush Yds/Game:           87 (29th)  

Def. Pass Yds/Game:   242 (23rd)  

Def. Rush Yds/Game:   123 (21st)  

Team Leaders

Matt Ryan:  422/615, 4,719 yards, 32 TD, 14 INT  

Roddy White:  92 rec, 1,351 yds, Seven TD  

Michael Turner: 222 rush, 800 yds, 10 TD  

Thomas DeCoud: Six INT, 42 yards, 62 tackles  

John Abraham: 10.0 sacks, 33 tackles  

If you listen to all the experts, the sentiment is that New Orleans will win only because coach Sean Payton is returning from his season long suspension and his presence will be the reason for victory.  

Other experts believe Atlanta will win because the Saints historically bad defense will not be able to stop their offense.   

Payton’s return will not be the only way the Saints will win this game - there are a few things that need to happen for them to win.