New Orleans (9-3) at ATLANTA (7-5), 8:25 p.m. on NBC, NFL Network and Amazon Prime. They came into the league at the same time. They don’t like each other. One city’s hosted an Olympics, the other’s hosts Mardi Gras. It’s Peach Pie vs. Gumbo as NeW Orleans travels to Atlanta for an important NFC contest to open play in week 14.

The Saints swept their series with Carolina Sunday afternoon in the Big Easy, as New Orleans came away 31-21 winners over Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Carolina trailed 21-14 at the intermission before the Saints pulled away in the second half to take the win. Carolina made it a 10-point contest with 3:57 left in regulation when Newton (183 yards) and WR Devin Funchess connected on a 24-yard TD pass (it was the second TD pass of the day for Newton; he had connected with WR Christian McCaffrey in the first half to pull the Panthers to within seven). Carolina then tried an onside kick which they thought was successful but Funchess’ effort to keep the ball failed after the Saints challenged the call. New Orleans won the challenge and took control after that. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 148-112 and it was the Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara show as Ingram ran for 85 yards and TD, while Kamara chipped in with 60 yards and a pair of rushing TDs of his own and Brees threw for 269 yards in the contest in the Big Easy without being intercepted. New Orleans was 6 of 15 on third down conversions in the rematch (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:21, while the Panthers were 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the pigskin for 26:39.

Atlanta was held without a TD for the first time since they were shutout at Carolina in 2015, scoring only three Matt Bryant field goals to fall to Minnesota 14-9 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta trailed 7-6 at the half, then took a 9-7 lead with 11:57 left in the third and took that lead into the fourth quarter, when Minnesota took the lead back for keeps when Vikings QB Case Keenum (227 yards, two sack) and TE Kyle Rudolph connected on a 6-yard TD pass to open play in the fourth quarter. Minnesota outrushed Atlanta 105-102 and held Matt Ryan to 173 yards in the air in the win. Atlanta on third down was a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 25:58, while the Vikings went 6 of 12, keeping the pigskin for 34:02.

They’ve met 95 times since joining the National Football League, the Falcons lead the series 50-45 and Atlanta has outscored the Saints 2,113-1,985. They met last year and Atlanta swept the series, taking wins in the Big Peach and the Big Easy (New Orleans’ last win in the series came in 2015, when they swept the series that year).

Round 1… week 3… the Big Easy. Atlanta broke a 7-7 first quarter tie, took a 28-17 at the intermission and left the Mercedes Benz Superdome with a 45-21 under their belts. Ryan (240 yards) threw a pair of TDs, while Brees (376 yards, interception) threw three TD passes in the Monday night affair that celebrated the 10th anniversary of the reopening of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina almost destoryed it. (Each man was sacked twice) Atlanta outrushed New Orelans 217-115, with Falcons RB DeVonta Freeman leading all rushers with 152 yards. The Falcons on third down tries went 5 of 11 but found success on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and the Falcons kept the ball for 27:26, while the Saints ruled the clock and held the ball for 32:34, going 7 of 13 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down.

That was round one. There’s a sequel to the series, you know.

They met again in the Big Peach in week 17 to close out the season. Winning the NFC South the week before in Charlotte, the Falcons sealed the deal and swept the series, coming away 38-32 winners in the final regular season game in the Georgia Dome. Leading 35-13 at the half, the Falcons held off a late New Orleans rally that would have ruined things for the Falcons. Ryan (331 yards) threw four TD passes in the contest, while Brees (350 yards) threw two fourth quarter TDs in the contest. As was the case in the first meeting, Atlanta outrushed New Orleans, this time tallying 142 yards to New Orleans’ 132. Ingram led all rushers with 103 yards on the ground, while Freeman tallied 96 (each had a rushing TD in the contest). The Falcons on third down in the rematch went 6 of 11 and kept the ball for 29:45, while the Saints were 7 of 16 on third down, 3 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:15.

New Orleans was favored by 3 in the week 3 Monday night contest and the Falcons covered the spread, winning by 13. Both teams scored a combined 66 points, covering the 54. In the season finale, the Falcons were favored by 7 but barely won by 6. The two clubs easily took care of the 55 1/2 over/under, combining for 70 points.

In the Thursday night matchup in the Big Peach, the Saints are favored by 1 and the over/under’s 53 1/2. Atlanta would like nothing more than to catch the Saints (who they will play in New Orleans in two weeks) and rule the NFC South again. As for the Saints, they’re on top of the NFC South and want to stay there. Someone’s going to cover the 1 and that someone will be Atlanta. The Falcons prevail in the Big Peach and let the Saints know they rule the roost.

Broadcast Information: 8:25 p.m. on NBC, NFL Network and Amazon Prime: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Heather Cox (Field reporter): NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (New Orleans), 83 (Atlanta); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (New Orleans), 83 (Atlanta)

Referee: Clete Blakeman

Injury Report

New Orleans
OUT: G Andrus Peat (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Mark Ingram (Toe), T Terron Armstead (Thigh), DE Collins Hendrickson (Knee), CB Marshon Lattimore (Ankle), S Marcus Williams (Groin)

Atlanta
OUT: G Andrew Levitre (Triceps), TE Eric Saubert (Back)

Weather: Game Indoors; if roof is open, Cloudy with a 60 percent chance of rain and 43 degrees

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel

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