Week 13 of the 2012 NFL season kicks off with a tremendous NFC South rivalry game between two teams looking to build momentum towards the postseason.
This week’s edition of Thursday Night Football features a great battle between the (10-1) New Orleans Saints and the (5-6) Atlanta Falcons. NFL picks specialists list the Falcons as -3.5 favorites over the Saints and the OVER/UNDER at a combined total of 56 points.
For the Saints, Drew Brees & Co. will have to turn things around quickly following a discouraging loss at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers last week. The Niners defense limited New Orleans’ to 290 total yards, including a season-low 59 rushing yards.
With no ground game going, Brees was forced to throw the football 41 times, completing only 26 passes for 267 yards, three touchdowns and 2 picks. Because of this loss, the saints have to put themselves in a position to have to win out in order to have a solid chance to sneak into the postseason.
The next two weeks will go a long was as far as determining whether New Orleans will indeed make it to the playoffs. If they can win the next two games, I certainly like their chances. The Saints remaining schedule goes as follows: at Atlanta, at NY Giants, vs Tampa Bay, at Dallas and vs Carolina.
“The margin for error is very slight right now. We’ve kind of used up our nine lives,” Brees said. “So we’ve got to really bear down here and just understand what’s at stake every time we step on the field.”
For the Falcons, their 10-1 start has all but assured this team the NFC South title. However, the question for this team is going to be: How much positive momentum can they build from the end of the regular season and into the playoffs?
Although the Falcons are coming off a 24-23 victory, it was a game to forget in terms of mistakes and unforced errors. Atlanta was able to overcome two turnovers by continuing to move the chains thanks to a 353-yard throwing effort my Matt Ryan, who finished the day with a 110 QBR.
“It’s always been a tough place for us to come play,” Ryan said about Tampa Bay. “They play with great effort, and I think they have a good football team.”
In addition to this Thursday Night Football game being a divisional battle, the Falcons will also be trying to snap a three-game home losing streak against New Orleans.
“It’s not like they came out here and won a game,” said Atlanta receiver Roddy White. “I think we kind of gave it to them.”
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- OSH Free Thursday Night Football Picks: New Orleans Saints (+3.5)
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