Blogs & Opinion

Falcons v Saints is an NFC South grudge match, says Kevin Cadle

Features Posted 9th November 2012 view comments

The first of Sky Sports' NFL live double-header on Sunday sees the Atlanta Falcons take on NFC South rivals the New Orleans Saints.

The Falcons boast the only remaining perfect record in the NFL but the form book could well go out of the window in Louisiana, according to our NFL man Kevin Cadle.

Atlanta Falcons (8-0) @ New Orleans Saints (3-5), Sun 5.30pm, Sky Sports 3 HD

This is a rivalry between two organisations which really don't like each other. When it gets to that point, anything can happen. Last year the Saints kind of ran up the score on the Falcons and that was not appreciated. They will be looking for payback.

Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints: Big rivals in the NFC South

Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints: Big rivals in the NFC South

I'm not buying the Falcons yet. They are undefeated and it looks like they could win the majority of the games that they have left on their schedule. But they just scraped by in the last couple of weeks against some pretty mediocre teams.

For me it will come down to - and I'm sure the organisation knows this - what is going to happen when they get to the play-offs. Are they going to be one and done again? That is what it's all about with this team. It's a little way down the road but that's what it's all about for them.

Last year the Saints kind of ran up the score on the Falcons and that was not appreciated. They will be looking for payback.

Kevin Cadle
Quotes of the week

I'd say Matt Ryan is an MVP candidate. When your team is undefeated and you are the only undefeated team, the one who usually gets the accolades is the quarterback.

It's not really happening with the running game, they've really cut back the workload of Michael Turner. They want to make sure that he's fresh at the end of the year rather than running him like a bell cow and then when it comes to the play-offs he's not really there because they've run him out of gas.

But the receiver combination Ryan has with Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez as the tight end, if you look at three people across the board then I don't know if there is a team in the NFL which has what they have.

The Saints have been up and down. Finally they've got Joe Vitt in as the main coach after his bountygate suspension. He was the guy that was ordained by Sean Payton to take over the team originally but he had to sit out the first six games himself.


I think getting Joe back and getting a few games under the belt with him will make the comfort level start to increase. They are still the same team they were on the offensive side of the ball, although they are maybe running it a little better.

But defensively they're atrocious, they are on pace to become the worst defensive team in the history of the NFL. If you don't stop somebody at some time then it's really difficult to be a competitive team. I think that's the thing that's holding them back and it looks like it's not going to repair itself any time soon.

Their chances of getting a wildcard for the play-offs are slim but if you look at the NFC East, the second and third placed teams are 3-5. The South really has no-one in contention. The North has Minnesota at 5-4 but Minnesota are about to lose their way.

I don't see anybody coming from the West, Seattle's 5-4 but I don't really see Seattle holding on. There is a shot that if any of those 3-5 teams get hot, they could make the play-offs.

It was recently reported that suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton's contract extension has been nullified by the NFL. Basically the Saints have to re-negotiate him a new contract. He is a free agent so I'm sure he'll have conversations with other people to draw the price up but I don't see him leaving New Orleans.

The New Orleans organisation is better than the Dallas organisation and has a better quarterback. I really don't see him taking off and messing with Jerry Jones.

Kev's Call... I'm going with the upset and picking the New Orleans Saints. The Falcons still have some problems defensively and I think New Orleans will upset them.

back to top

Other Experts:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Clowney's no joke

US sports expert Alex Ferguson profiles Jadeveon Clowney, the biggest defensive pick of the draft....

Alex Ferguson

King James reigns

Alex Ferguson celebrates a wacky, smile-inducing year in US sport - and salutes Miami's LeBron James....


Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....


Alex Ferguson

A perfect union?

Alex Ferguson looks at the possible unionisation of college football and how he would handle the issue....

Alex Ferguson

Call of the century

Spacemen Portland pick Bowie over Jordan - Alex Ferguson ranks the biggest decisions in US Sport....


Alex Ferguson

Independence aces

Alex Ferguson kicks off his Independence Day fun by picking his 20 best bits of American sport....


Jamie Redknapp

Toffees come unstuck

Man Utd's men with a point to prove can take advantage of Everton's midweek blow, says Jamie Redknapp....

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Paul Merson says Liverpool WON'T beat Norwich - and Chelsea and Man City will close the gap....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....


Jamie Carragher

Bruce almighty

Steve Bruce deserves a mention when this year's managerial awards are handed out, says Carra....

Dewi Morris

Heart and soul

Dewi Morris looks at a crucial weekend in the Championship as we head towards the play-offs....

Stuart Barnes

Ups and downs

Stuart Barnes says the drama of relegation must be kept in rugby, but the play-offs need changing....

Phil Clarke

To Hull and back

Phil Clarke looks at the mental damage done to Hull FC and Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup....

Bob Willis

Away for a while

Bob Willis thinks Jonathan Trott will be absent from England duty for some time following his latest setback....

Rob Lee

Pinky and perky

Rob Lee blogs on his vivid Masters Breakfast attire and the men that made waves at Augusta National....

Mark Petchey

Fillip for Ferrer

Mark Petchey marvels at David Ferrer's win over Rafael Nadal but downplays it's long-term significance....

Barry Cowan

Heavy burden

Great Britain's best Davis Cup since 1986 fails to mask their reliance on Andy Murray, says Barry Cowan....

Alex Hammond

Just Cause

Alex Hammond reveals her tips for the Irish Grand National and the other decent racing in Ireland this weeend....

Alex Hammond

Going the distance

Marathon entrant Alex Hammond previews the Newbury action and Scottish National meeting at Ayr....

Alex Hammond

Rocky's road

Alex Hammond explains why she is backing Rocky Creek and Lion Na Bearnai at the Grand National....

Johnny Nelson

The best of friends

It will be tough but Johnny Nelson expects mates Anthony Crolla and John Murray to serve up a classic....

Glenn McCrory

Manny happy returns

Manny Pacquiao is back to his best and could yet get it on with Floyd Mayweather, says Glenn McCrory....

Johnny Nelson

Delighted for DeGale

James DeGale's Matchroom switch is the perfect move to get him back in the mix, says Johnny Nelson....

View from America

Desperate deals?

Simon Veness reviews a crazy week in the NFL's free agent frenzy, as sides splash out over $1bn....


Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....


Neal Foulds

Simply the best?

Five-time Masters champion Ronnie O'Sullivan may be the best snooker player ever, says Neal Foulds....


Kelvin Tatum

The contenders

Kelvin Tatum runs through the teams and riders ahead of the 2014 Elite League Speedway season....

Kelvin Tatum

Kelvin's 2013 Review

Kelvin Tatum salutes Poole's hierarchy and Tai Woffinden in his round-up of the speedway season....


Kelvin Tatum

Rich re-Ward

Poole, and the dynamic Darcy Ward, will wrap up the Elite League title at Perry Barr, says Kelvin Tatum....


Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......


Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....


Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....


Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...


Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....


Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....