Junior Galette— This defense will be put to the test this Sunday and pass rush would help their cause against the high flying attack of Matt Ryan and company. Galette hasn’t been active in any of the preseason games, but that hasn’t stopped him from talking. He recently said in a press conference that maybe the Atlanta Falcons are scared of the Dome and that the Saints want to continue their domination over the Falcons and the South in general. Not that anybody needed more motivation for this game, but the Falcons definitely heard and will look to do their best to shut him up. It will be key for Galette, along with Martez Wilson, to wreak havoc on Matt Ryan.
Kenny Vaccaro vs Tony Gonzalez—The Saints drafted Kenny Vaccaro for games like this one. For all the talk about Julio Jones and Roddy White, Gonzalez is the glue for the offense. Vaccaro brings a lot of skills to a defense that will need him. Based on the way Rob Ryan was using Vaccaro in the preseason, it would be no surprise if he spent a good amount of time covering Gonzalez. Vaccaro certainly has the athletic ability and skill set to contain Gonzalez; it will be interesting to see how the rookie fares. Vaccaro will also be expected to help in the run game that is how headed by Steven Jackson.
Ben Watson— A quiet offseason pickup by the Saints, Ben Watson can prove to have a huge impact in his first game against the Falcons as a member of the Saints. Let’s face it, the Saints have a lot of weapons. Jimmy Graham will command a double team the majority of the time. On top of that, the Falcons might start two rookie corners. With that kind of help being given everywhere else, Watson will see one on one mismatches with linebackers all game. This might be the tweak that Sean Payton was looking during his time off last season.
How the game will be won: For all the talk about the passing with Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Graham, and the rest, the Saints will need to stay balanced to have a chance against the Falcons. The defense needs to be protected and kept on the sidelines and it will be up to Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, and Darren Sproles to control the game. Expect a high scoring game that leaves fantasy football players salivating; it could be a case that whoever get the ball last wins the game.