Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season is here. As usual, most of the action takes place on Sunday, including an NFC South showdown between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. FanDuel Sportsbook leans heavily to one side here, listing the Saints as 5.5-point road favorites over the Falcons.
With a healthy roster, the Saints aim to make sure that the 2021 campaign is just a distant memory. Dennis Allen's squad should be stronger this year and with the recent success that the organization has had against Atlanta, a blowout victory for New Orleans isn't out of the question.
Here are three reasons why the Saints will blow out the Falcons in Week 1.
Saints vs Falcons Week 1
1. Saints Have a Massive QB Advantage
Gone are the days of Drew Brees vs. Matt Ryan in Saints-Falcons battles. Instead, fans get Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota in Week 1. While neither quarterback compares to their predecessors, New Orleans should have the advantage here. Before his season-ending injury last year, Winston looked decent, throwing for over 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns to three interceptions in seven games. Meanwhile, Mariota hasn't started a game since 2019 and has almost no one to pass to. With the Saints pass-catching depth also improved over the offseason, Winston should excel, making it hard for the Falcons to keep up.
2. Saints' Road Success in Atlanta
While playing a rival team on the road can be tough, it's not an issue for the Saints. New Orleans is 9-4 in its last 13 trips to Atlanta, winning four consecutive games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Over that four-game span, the Saints have outscored the Falcons by a total of 120-91, which translates to an average win margin of just over a touchdown. The Saints haven't lost in Atlanta since 2017 and it's tough to imagine that changing considering just how much better New Orleans' roster is.
3. Falcons Defense Has Struggled in Recent Years
The Falcons' roster leaves a lot to be desired, especially on the defensive side of the ball. In addition to having a bottom-11 scoring defense in three of the previous four seasons, the Falcons gave up 27.0 points per game in 2021 — tied for the third-worst clip in the entire NFL. While general manager Terry Fontenot did make some improvements over the offseason, it was hardly an overhaul. Until the Falcons prove themselves on the field, there's no reason to be intimidated by their defense. The Saints shouldn't have any problems carving them up thanks to playmakers like Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and Alvin Kamara.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.