Though the Atlanta Falcons have to face the New Orleans Saints in yet another prime time game at the Sponsor Name Superdome, the Birds do have one advantage: extra preparation and rest time. The Falcons played the Jacksonville Jaguars last Thursday night, and was even able to pull its starters early, while the Saints had to play Sunday. You take what you can get.
And with Brent Grimes just about ready to come back from injury, those extra few days could prove very valuable. Not to mention the Old Guy Crew's regular midweek rest can be extended a day or two in each direction.
Mike Smith on all this free time:
When we started the season and we put the calendar up to our players, basically that's how we described it. We go through the entire season. We want our guys to know what they're going to be doing on Thanksgiving, what they're going to be doing on Christmas. This week happens to fall on Christmas. We talked about the sequencing of a Thursday night game followed by a Monday night game and just as you said, we're looking at this as ‘a mini bye week' in terms of the amount of time that we had off. The guys will basically have had five days off between games and at this stage in the season, we think it's beneficial both physically and mentally to have guys get an opportunity to rest and recharge their batteries for the final two games of the season.