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5 reasons to watch Saints vs. Falcons on ‘Thursday Night Football’ in Week 14

This week’s poopfest is the greatest NFC South matchup of them all.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Finally, it’s Thursday. Seemed like it took us forever to get here, but alas — we made it.

Our poopfest this week features two teams from the NFL’s best division: the Saints and Falcons. It’s one of the NFL’s best rivalries and typically makes for a fun and entertaining game that ends with relentless smack talk between fan bases.

The 9-3 Saints have been one of the most exciting teams to watch this season, while the Falcons have been — as our friends at the Falcoholic say — like a roller coaster with a terrible safety record.

If both teams play up to their abilities, this one should be fun. But this is a poopfest, after all.

Here’s why you should watch Saints-Falcons.

The Rookie of the Year is playing

Alvin Kamara is so damn good at football, and it almost hurts me. In all of my years on this Earth, I have been a Falcons fan (not without pain, of course). So to see a kid from here (shoutout Norcross) make NFL defenses shake on a weekly basis for the Saints makes me cringe.

But we’re going to celebrate the young man. Kamara was a third-round selection, and has been so important to the team’s success that Sean Payton is second-guessing himself — in a good way.

“Look, if we had known what we were going to get as a runner, we wouldn't have taken him in the third round,” he told the Times-Picayune, “We would've taken him earlier.”

Kamara is 5’10 and weighs 215 pounds, and yet he’s almost impossible to take down. Even Kurt Coleman’s best hit only briefly slowed him down last week:

Kamara is both effective on the ground and through the air. This past week, Kamara officially joined Charley Taylor and Billy Sims as the only rookies in NFL history to have 600 yards on the ground and through the air.

His uncle works with Migos, so maybe Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff can get the Atlanta native to take it easy for one game.


Julio Jones has been a mystery this year. In Steve Sarkisian’s offense, we don’t know whether he’s going to pop off for 200 yards or get held to two catches for 24 yards like he was last week against the Vikings.

But you should always watch a football game with a guy who will rip not just the football away for a touchdown, but your pride, heart, and soul as well:

Or somebody who will sink defenders into the turf with a step smoother than an Andre 3000 verse:

Julio Jones is playing football. There’s not a lot of convincing that needs to be done here. Watch him.

Oh, and along with Kamara, two of the best RB tandems in the NFL

Kamara and Mark Ingram have been the most deadly running back duo in the NFL this season. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have been monsters themselves, even with Freeman missing a pair of games due to a concussion.

Their numbers have been pretty close, with the Saints having the edge, however.

On just eight more carries, the Saints have 1,528 yards compared to the Falcons’ 1,150, and 10 touchdowns to the Falcons’ 16. The bigger separation comes in the passing game, where the Saints have 70 more receptions and almost 500 more yards.

In short, the odds of these four players having their names called multiple times during Thursday night’s broadcast is high. It’s not something anybody’s going to complain about.

Unless of course, it’s not in their team’s favor.

This is one of the NFL’s best rivalry games

It’s lame at this point how much every single NFC East matchup is gassed up as a rivalry game. It doesn’t matter what teams from that division you put together, the broadcasting crew working whatever game is going to praise it as One Of The Game’s Best and/or A Classic.

But in the NFC South, this has been a real and heated rivalry for a while now. Neither team claims all the other teams in its division as rivals. There’s a genuine disdain.

The series’ most iconic moment came in 2006 when Steve Gleason blocked Michael Koenen’s punt in the team’s return home after Hurricane Katrina:

“The whole world was against us that night,” then-Falcons head coach Jim Mora told ESPN in 2016. “And for some reason, at the end of the day, that seemed OK with me.”

Both teams have had their moments, but it’s hard to argue there’s been one bigger than that.

So yeah, watch one of the NFL’s true rivalry games.

One of the best Color Rush matchups of the season

I know I keep digging from the Color Rush Well in these posts over the course of the season, but it’s part of the grab of Thursday night games — which are otherwise trash.

This week features a pair of the best Color Rush combinations we’ll see all season. The Falcons are whipping out their old-school look, with a new-school red look:

The Saints’ Color Rush uniforms are a clean throwback that makes for some of the best uniforms any team will wear all season. Even though I have a deep dislike for the Saints, I’d be incredibly unreasonable if I said these weren’t nice:

Whoever loses Thursday night can take solace in the fact that they’ll look good doing it.

Enjoy the poopfest!

Get to know Atlanta rookie Takk McKinley