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NFL Week 16 Picks And Predictions: The Experts Weigh In On The Saints-Falcons Winner

The Atlanta Falcons have been rolling along getting a lot of love from the experts over the past three weeks. True, their competition (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks) hasn't been the highest caliber but this week that changes. An epic game against the Saints on Monday night will give us a true glimpse of what the nation's football experts think of the Falcons.

Source Winner Notes
ESPN Consensus Falcons Ron Jaworski doesn't pick the Monday Night game but six of the other experts like the Falcons vs. only three who predict a Saints victory.
Yahoo Sports Consensus Falcons Les Carpenter hasn't made his picks yet but the Falcons still hold a 2-1 advantage among the Yahoo! experts.
CBS Sports Consensus Falcons Wow, an impressive five-for-five sweep for the Falcons from the boys at CBS Sports.
Fanhouse Saints Dave Goldberg: The Falcons clinch the NFC South and home field with a win. If the Saints win, they clinch a playoff berth. Saints 24, Falcons 23.
What If Sports Saints The Falcons lost over 60 percent of the simulations and the Saints are projected to win 23-19.
Sports Illustrated Falcons Peter King: Falcons 27, Saints 20. Love this game. I see it being a keepaway job by the Falcons, for a couple of reasons. Atlanta, in the first meeting of the teams this season (Falcons, 27-24, on Sept. 27) ran for 202 yards. And last week in Baltimore, the Ravens strafed New Orleans for 208 rushing yards. In other words, if you've got Michael Turner and Jason Snelling in your fantasy league playoffs this weekend, be very happy.
USA Today Falcons Six of the eight experts like the Falcons to clinch the NFC South and homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs this week with a win over the Saints.
Sporting News Falcons Only one expert likes the Saints chances leaving six experts predicting a Falcons sweep over the Saints in 2010.
Blogging the Boys Consensus Saints Five of the eight panelists predict a Saints victory with only three liking the Falcons chances.

 

As expected, this game is much more in doubt than the past three have been. The Falcons have been on a incredible run and could still clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs even if they lose this game. It's not a must-win for them in the standings but it is from a psychological standpoint. The Falcons don't want to lose to the Saints at home and then have to face them again in two weeks in the NFC Championship game. For that reason, it's a must-win.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.