From quarterback Matt Ryan, operating again Devonta Freeman to extensive receiver Julio Jones, the Atlanta Falcons boast loads of the identical faces on offense and protection.
However main variations this season the New Orleans Saints (9-three) will see Thursday night time when in comparison with 2016 surrounds Atlanta’s 7-5 document and an offense not ranked within the prime 5.
The Falcons additionally enter Week 14 ranked 14th in scoring (22.eight factors per recreation) after ending the 2016 season ranked first (33.eight factors per recreation).
Maybe the rationale behind the down statistics could possibly be traced to the change in offensive coordinators through the offseason, because the Falcons introduced aboard Steve Sarkisian to exchange Kyle Shanahan, who took over as the top coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
“Nicely, for positive, there’s all the time changes,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn stated in a teleconference. “How do you match new gamers, new coaches into the combination? After which it was additionally good to say what are some issues that we’re doing properly and what are some issues that we might change.
“So, there have been some areas that have been improved on from final yr, scoring not being one in every of them proper now, however we’re higher on third down than we have been final yr. We’re higher within the purple zone. I just like the explosive performs that we’re having. We’re not nearly as good from a turnover margin and we will work like loopy to maintain engaged on that as we’re going by way of. These can be a couple of issues that we’re doing nicely and issues that we nonetheless have to work on.”
The Falcons could also be going by means of an adjustment interval with a brand new offensive coordinator, however the Saints aren’t taking the NFC South rival frivolously.
Defensive deal with Tyeler Davison factors out what he sees on the movie seems to be very very similar to what the Falcons favored to do in 2016.
“I do not actually see very a lot of a distinction,” Davison stated. “They nonetheless wish to run outdoors attracts, and that is what units up most of their offense.
“Outdoors zone, inside zone, play-motion off it on second down, third down and attempt to get it to Julio Jones. It seems to be the identical from final yr to me.”
Cornerback Ken Crawley agreed emphatically, including whereas there are some delicate variations, the Falcons offense stays potent.
“These guys may be very harmful,” Crawley stated. “(Mohamed) Sanu, he is enjoying nicely and I like the best way he performs. Julio is an elite receiver. These guys could make performs in any offense they run, so we simply need to be ready.”
In the meantime, the Saints could possibly be dealing with a determined Falcons group Thursday night time.
The Saints maintain a one-recreation lead and personal the tie-breakers within the NFC South over the Carolina Panthers, and are up two video games over the Falcons.
However the two groups will meet twice in a 3-week span, and the Falcons head coach believes his offense and all of the potent weapons will quickly hit its stride.
“I do not assume by any stretch that we have reached our peak offensively in 2017,” Quinn stated. “As we’re moving into the latter a part of the season I used to be inspired by over the previous few weeks the progress that…