Right now the New Orleans Saints are in a good position as Week 12 of the NFL season is set to begin. Arguably, it is not necessarily the greatest position to be in as they are still one game behind the Seattle Seahawks and have the Carolina Panthers nipping at their heels. However, at 8-2, the Saints are still in full control of their postseason destiny.
The Seahawks are on a bye week and follow that up with a Monday night matchup against the Saints on primetime in Seattle, while the Panthers travel to Miami to play the much scrutinized Miami Dolphins. So, Seattle will retain its record through Week 12 while Carolina is likely to come away with a win behind a surging defense and their ever-improving quarterback, Cam Newton.
New Orleans’ contests against division rivals, let alone the Falcons, are always important and this one is no different. The Saints came away with a huge victory against the San Francisco 49ers after a couple of years of getting beaten around by them and need to keep their momentum going.
Still, though, this is a game coming off of a short week heading into unfriendly territory and no NFL game is ever a sure thing, not even for the high powered Saints offense and their ever improving defense under Rob Ryan. Just ask the Tennessee Titans and the Dolphins, who lost to the then win-less Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers just a few weeks ago, respectively.
The Falcons are certainly not enjoying the season they thought they would have had this year, after making it to the NFC Championship game last season, and at 2-8 their year is all but done. They only thing left for them is bragging rights and I’m sure the they would enjoy nothing better than to hamper in anyway New Orleans’ postseason chances.
This is why this game is crucial for the Saints — for the postseason and for continued bragging rights.