Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed Tuesday that he will not rest his starters in Week 17 with the No. 1 seed in the NFC still alive.
"If the time slots were different, then it might be a different approach," said Payton. "But we’re doing everything we can this week full speed ahead." The Falcons and Saints both play at 1:00 ET next Sunday, with the Bears-Packers game slated for a 4:00 start. The Saints can’t afford to take their foot off the gas pedal at this point.
An MRI of Reggie Bush’s collarbone has come back negative, reports NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora. He is expected to be active for Week 17.
Our View: Good news for the Saints, who have a shot at earning a first round bye next weekend if they win and the Falcons lose. Since returning from a broken leg in Week 12, however, Bush has rushed just 20 times for 62 yards.
Robert Meachem says the injury he suffered in New Orleans’ Monday night win over the Falcons is not serious, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Jeff Duncan.
Our View: He tripped over a photographer, but doesn’t sound like he’s in any danger missing Week 17. His status will be updated later this week, but consider this a non-issue until further notice.
If the Saints win while the Falcons and Bears both lose next Sunday, they could wrap up the NFC’s top playoff seed for the second straight season, according to Pro Football Talk.
Our View: They’ve now gone from potentially missing the playoffs to potentially getting home-field advantage. Of course, for that to happen the Panthers would have to beat Atlanta next Sunday. Stranger things have happened, but Carolina’s chances of pulling off the upset are somewhere between zero and one percent.
Pierre Thomas rushed 19 times for 63 yards with one touchdown and added seven receptions for 39 yards against the Falcons in Week 16.
Thomas saw 19 of the team’s 22 handoffs and was clearly a major part of the gameplan. He did a great job of fighting through some tight holes and showed great explosion on his 2-yard touchdown run. Atlanta’s defense did a great job of forcing pressure on Drew Brees, leading to plenty of dumpoff looks for Thomas. He’s clearly recovered from his prior ankle injury and his effectiveness in short-yardage situations should make the Saints think twice about rushing Chris Ivory back. Thomas projects to be a solid RB2 in PPR leagues for Week 17.
Drew Brees completed 35-of-49 passes for 302 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in Monday’s Week 16 win over the Falcons, 17-14.
Brees made some big mistakes against Atlanta’s constant pass rush, highlighted by a costly pick-six that looked to be the game winning score for the Falcons. Redemption didn’t come until late in the fourth quarter, when Brees found rookie TE Jimmy Graham on a slant pattern to put the Saints up 17-14 with 3:24 left to play, the score that ultimately proved to be the game winner. The Saints can take the No. 1 seed in the NFC South with a Week 17 win and an Atlanta loss. Both games start at 1:00 ET, so look for each team to play their starters.
Robert Meachem reeled in a season-high ten passes for 101 yards on Monday night.
Our View: This came out of nowhere, as he was the Saints go-to wideout for the first time in seemingly ages. If you played him this week, congratulations. If you didn’t, you’re among the majority.
Pierre Thomas rushed 19 times for 63 yards and a touchdown and caught seven passes for 39 yards in Week 16.
Our View: Without Chris Ivory there to steal carries, Thomas was the featured back tonight. We’ve been awaiting this type of performance all season, and Thomas delivered when you likely needed it the most.
Drew Brees completed 35-of-49 passes for 302 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in a 17-14 win over the Falcons on Monday night.
Our View: He gave the Falcons the lead with a pick-six in the fourth quarter, but redeemed himself by throwing the game-winning score to Jimmy Graham with 3:24 remaining. While it wasn’t his best game, he at least gave you big points in leagues that count completions and 300-plus yard games.
Chris Ivory is inactive for Monday Night Football against the Falcons.