FLOWERY BRANCH — The prognosticators are calling for a major blowout.
The Saints, winners of their past six games, are projected to roll over the Falcons, losers of six consecutive, when they meet at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Superdome in New Orleans.
The Falcons are double-digit underdogs in this rivalry game.
“It always comes down to being a close, tough, football game when you go against these guys,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. “You know that they are going to compete for four quarters — there is no question about that. They are tough and resilient. We have to play our style of football and make sure that we come out on the right side of it.”
The Falcons have a three-point plan to turnaround their season: create turnovers, communication better on defense to eliminate the blown coverages and win the field-position battle with a new kicker and punter.
“Everybody in the league is talking about the ball, what makes you different?,” Falcons assistant coach Raheem Morris said. “Be the team that can actually go out and get them.”
Morris switched from wide receivers coach to help with the defensive backs Monday.
“There are a lot of talented coaches on our staff,” Morris said. “There are lot of talented players in our building. We ask people to do different things every single week. Julio Jones plays in the slot. He plays on the outside. He plays on the right side, on the left side. These guys do different things. It’s no different for our coaches. Our guys are equipped and well equipped to do different things.”
In their previous outing, the Falcons left Seattle’s DK Metcalf wide open in the end zone, twice. Falcons coach Dan Quinn believes that Morris, a longtime defensive backs coach, can help.
“Particularly with our corners, getting them playing down at the line of scrimmage,” Morris said. “Some of those techniques. The other thing is dealing with our communication. We have a young safety out there in (Damontae) Kazee, who’s still young. He playing with (Ricardo Allen), who’s a very good communicator. Kazee, we want him to be able to communicate better. We know what Kazee can do really well. He got the ball in his hands last year. Let’s get him back to doing that.”
Kicker Younghoe Koo (pronounced Young Way Coo) will handle kickoffs and field goals. Ryan Allen, formerly of the Patriots, will handle the punting.