Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints square-off on Thursday


Week 6 begins on Thursday night (CBS/NFLN, 8:25 PM ET) with an NFC South matchup between the ATLANTA FALCONS (5-0) and the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (1-4) at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Ten of the previous 13 matchups between the Falcons and Saints have been decided by one score entering their Week 6 contest.

Atlanta improved to 5-0 with a 25-19 overtime win against Washington last week.

The Falcons, who trailed in the fourth quarter against the Redskins, became the first team in NFL history to start 5-0 with four of those wins coming when trailing at some point in the fourth quarter.

“I thought this was a really clear demonstration of our determination, grit and mindset to finish,” says Falcons head coach DAN QUINN. “All around there were plays offensively, defensively and on special teams that we made. There is a lot to take and learn from and we can continue to get better.”

Atlanta running back DEVONTA FREEMAN rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown in his third career start. Freeman, who previously rushed for six touchdowns in his first two career starts, is the first player in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to rush for at least seven touchdowns in his first three starts to begin a career.

Entering Week 6, Falcons quarterback MATT RYAN looks to continue his success on Thursdays. Ryan has a 4-1 career record as a starter on Thursdays. Ryan has 10 touchdown passes on Thursdays, tied with AARON RODGERS for the most in the NFC since 2010.

“We’ll be on top of our game plan heading into Thursday night,” says Ryan about facing the Saints.

New Orleans enters Week 6 following a 39-17 loss at Philadelphia.

“We need to keep fighting and stay within ourselves,” says New Orleans wide receiver BRANDIN COOKS, who had five receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown against Philadelphia. “We need to get back to work tomorrow. It is a short turnaround but we all have to go through it. We need to go home, fix the mistakes and get a win on Thursday against Atlanta.”

The Saints enter Week 6 having won six of their past 10 games against the Falcons. New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES has won seven of his nine starts at home with New Orleans against Atlanta.

Since joining New Orleans in 2006, Brees has led the Saints to a 25-11 (.694) record in regular season primetime games (any game that starts 7:00 PM or later on the East Coast), the third-best record of any team during that span. With a win on Thursday night, New Orleans can tie the New England Patriots (26) for the second-most wins in primetime since 2006.

Brees has 87 touchdown passes during primetime games, trailing only PEYTON MANNING (106) for the most during that span. His 11,090 passing yards are also the fourth-most on primetime since 2006.