A little over a week after they lost their season opener to the New England Patriots, the New Orleans Saints have a tough one on their hands in their opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
And while the Panthers have won two straight games, the Saints have lost five of their last six.
With a win, they’ll take a 2-0 lead over the Panthers in the NFC South.
The Saints are still in the hunt, however, with a win over the Steelers this weekend would put them up 4-1.
The Panthers have a better record than the Saints, but they’ll have to overcome a strong Falcons team, which has won four of five and has won seven of its last nine.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Sunday he thought he was going to have the Falcons playing their best football against the Saints.
“I was confident in my team,” Quinn said.
“We’re very good.
They’ve played great football. “
The biggest thing for me was, they’ve been out there.
They’ve played great football.
We’ve had great chances.
We’ll be able to execute the plays that we have to.”
The Falcons will be playing without starting center Nick Chubb, who is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Cornerback Desmond Trufant and safety Dashon Goldson are both out for their respective seasons, along with safety Landon Collins, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.
The Falcons had three different players with game-changing performances Sunday: wide receiver Mohamed Sanu with three catches for 75 yards, linebacker Thomas Davis with a pair of tackles and cornerback Desmond Truffant with two interceptions.
They also had the first interception of Quinn’s career, a pick six by safety Jonathan Vilma.
After Sunday’s win, Quinn said he expects the Falcons to finish the season with a better total than the one they had last season.
“They’ve had some really good performances,” Quinn told the team’s official website.
“It’s not like I’m saying, ‘I’m going to be playing well.’
I’m really confident in this group. “
This is the type of season we need to be in.
I’m really confident in this group.
They have the talent to play.
We need to come in here and do the things we need do.”