Going into the Thursday night matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, Drew Brees and the Saints were facing a daunting task and a questionable future. Having started the season 1-4, a lot of people have begun to question whether this is the beginning to the end of Sean Peyton and Drew Brees in New Orleans. If there was one hope for the Saints entering the home matchup, on short rest, against the 5-0 Falcons it was that Matt Ryan historically has had struggles in the Superdome. In his 8 seasons under center for Atlanta, Ryan has only won twice when he was on the road in New Orleans. Even more so, Ryan is 5-10 all-time against the Saints. One of the biggest factors in Thursday night’s victory for the Saints was putting pressure on Matt Ryan, and winning the turnover battle. Ryan was sacked 5 times, taking 3 fumbles, losing one of them. New Orleans got a major momentum boost late in the first quarter when defensive standout Michael Mauti scored a touchdown on a blocked punt which was vastly similar to a much celebrated blocked punt 10 years ago by Steve Gleason when the Saints reopened the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. Gleason, who has been battling ALS was in attendance for the game and celebrated on Twitter after the score tweeting “Hey Falcons #NeverPunt.” With the win, the Saints moved to 2-4, and will head to Indianapolis to face the Colts. That is, of course, assuming the Colts can make it out of New England in one piece.
That is correct, it is a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship playoff game. It was the game that resulted in the 8-month drama that was “deflate-gate.” The Colts will be in New England for the Sunday Night game, and there is an underlying assumption that this is the game we’ve all been waiting for. Will the Patriots seek revenge and try to hang 100 points on the team that started the drama or will they simply just do their job and just simply win the game? Will the Colts find a way to take the undefeated away from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady? There’s also the question as to who will be the starter for the Colts this week. Andrew Luck has missed the last two games due to a shoulder injury, and has had a rough go about for the games that he has started this season. Matt Hasselbeck is 2-0 in those two starts in place of Luck, and has even battled a serious illness before his second start yet still pulled off the victory. Hall of Famer Michael Irvin was on the Thursday Night Football Pregame Show and suggested the Colts sit Luck this week and should the two teams meet again in the playoffs they could then start him. With each week in the NFL, new storylines emerge.