FLOWERY BRANCH — As the Atlanta Falcons prepare for their Week 16 game against New Orleans in the Superdome on Monday Dec. 26, it’s necessary to look back at the first meeting of these two teams in Atlanta on Nov. 13.
The Saints won 26-23 in overtime in another thriller between these two NFC South rivals. Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkey looks at three stalled drives in the red zone as a key reason the game was close and an area of improvement for next Monday’s game.
“We kind of self destructed, especially on the first drive,” said Mularkey. “We had a good drive going down there. We had a penalty and some miscommunication going on.”
On those three stalled drives, Atlanta had to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns — never a good idea. It’s especially a bad idea when the Falcons are playing the Saints.
Why was there miscommunication?
“It was much louder, for a home game, than we anticipated,” said Mularkey. “We had some problems in the gun which you wouldn’t have expected being at home. Their fans gave us problems at home. We weren’t prepared for that so we had a little bit of miscommunications.”
In the Georgia Dome, a home game for the Falcons, Saints’ fans were too loud for Atlanta’s offense to communicate properly.
What’s Monday night going to be like in what many consider the loudest stadium in the NFL, an incredibly hostile environment for the Falcons?
“You would think that, but they had a good fan base here,” said Mularkey. “We should be prepared. We’ve played in some pretty loud stadiums recently.”
The Falcons have played in some loud places. Houston was a placed Mularkey mentioned by name. Atlanta also traveled to Seattle and Detroit, which are also notoriously loud.
But none of those three stadiums were as loud as the Superdome will be Monday night.