By The Associated Press
Dec. 21, 2017
ATLANTA (9-5) at NEW ORLANS SAINTS (10-4)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE — New Orleans by 5.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Atlanta 6-8, Saints 7-7
SERIES RECORD — Falcons lead 52-45
LAST MEETING — Falcons beat Saints 20-17, Dec. 7
LAST WEEK — Falcons beat Buccaneers 24-21; Saints beat Jets 31-19
AP PRO32 RANKING — Falcon No. 9, Saints No. 6
FALCONS OFFENSE — OVERALL (9), RUSH (8), PASS (10)
FALCONS DEFENSE — OVERALL (9), RUSH (9), PASS (12)
SAINTS OFFENSE — OVERALL (1), RUSH (5), PASS (4)
SAINTS DEFENSE — OVERALL (11), RUSH (18), PASS (7)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Falcons can move into second place in NFC South with victory or first place with victory plus Carolina loss. ... Atlanta has won five of last six. ... Falcons have won three straight vs. Saints. ... Falcons 9-0 when scoring 20 or more this season. ... RB Devonta Freeman had 194 scrimmage yards — 126 rushing, 68 receiving — and TD last week. ... WR Julio Jones ranks third in NFL with 1,215 yards receiving, has averaged 96.4 yards in his past seven vs. Saints. ... WR Mohamed Sanu has TD catch in each of last two games vs. Saints. ... DE Adrian Clayborn has 7 1-2 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries in his past six games. He had sack in last game vs. Saints. ... LB Deion Jones is from New Orleans, played for LSU and leads Falcons with 118 tackles, which ranks fourth in NFC. Jones has INT in two of three career games against hometown team, including last meeting. ... DE Takkarist McKinley leads NFC rookies with six sacks and is tied for first among NFL rookies with two forced fumbles. He had sack and forced fumble last week. He has four sacks in past five games. ... Saints can clinch playoff spot with victory, win division with victory plus Carolina loss. ... Saints are only NFL team with three players who've each surpassed 1,000 scrimmage yards: RB Mark Ingram has 1,420, rookie RB Alvin Kamara has 1,336, and WR Michael Thomas has 1,085. ... QB Drew Brees ranks fourth in NFL with 3,850 yards passing. ... Ingram ranks third in NFC with 1,045 yards rushing, his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. He had 151 scrimmage yards and two TDs rushing last week. ... Kamara leads NFL rookies with 12 TDs, ranks second among rookies with 1,336 scrimmage yards. Kamara is one of four rookies in NFL history with five or more TDs rushing and five or more TDs receiving. Other three are Hall of Famers Doak Walker, Charley Taylor and Gale Sayers. ... Thomas leads NFC with 94 catches, one of two WRs in NFL history, along with Odell Beckham Jr., with 90-plus receptions in each of first two NFL seasons. ... DE Cameron Jordan leads Saints with 10 sacks, his third career season with at least 10. He also has 14 tackles for loss and 11 passes defended. ... Rookie CB Marshon Lattimore has INT in past two games, tied for first among rookies with four INTs. ... Fantasy Tip: Freeman has been in top form lately and faces defense that yielded 132 yards rushing to Falcons in Week 14, and 124 yards rushing to Jets last week.
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