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OPINION: Atlanta is going to be really good for the next few years and I couldn't be more excited. Why? It's because the Atlanta Falcons will be much more fun to hate if their games against the Saints actually matter.

Don't get me wrong, hating the Falcons is already quite delicious. My hatred for all things Falcon warms my soul on a cold November night during the football season. My hatred for the Falcons has been pure and good except beating the Falcons has never really meant anything. Sure, beating the Falcons in the Superdome used to mean not having to watch Atlanta fans leave the stadium doing that drunken cousin version of the chicken dance they called the 'Dirty Bird' and that was reason enough to celebrate for a month. But the Saints-Falcons games always had the importance of two hungry men fighting over a can of cat food. It didn't really matter who won because deep down both team's fans knew they were losers.

Hating the Falcons most of the time was like watching your dumb nextdoor neighbor fall down in the mud and then laughing at him. Then the next day you fall in the same mud he did the day before and he mocks you. This has gone on for 40 plus years.

Well my friends it's all about to change. The Saints have the Lombardi trophy and the Falcons finally managed to cobble together two straight winning seasons for the first time ever. The Saints-Falcon games are important now. Playoffs, division titles, and homefield advantage might all be in play! So the hatred will only intensify - just you wait.

Matt Ryan -soon you'll hate him so much you'll be yelling things at your TV like, 'Matty Ice is the dumbest nickname in the history of nicknames. Ryan's nickname sounds like some cheap college beer I bought on sale after an LSU football game that made me vomit just like watching Ryan does.' And the hate will feel so good. Hating people in real life and calling them names and insulting them is wrong and even frowned at in public. Hating a football team, insulting their goofy looking QB in the comfort of your own home is not only ok, why it's what makes football so fantastic.

While fans of both teams can remember a lot of the crazy games the fact is only one game the Saints-Falcons contest was really important in the grand scheme of the NFL. The December 28, 1991 playoff game which the Falcons won with Jerry Glanville, MC Hammer, and Evander Holyfield on the sideline in overtime. If my hatred for all things Atlanta Falcons ever runs low I just think of Michael Haynes running by a bewildered Milton Mack for the game winning touchdown.

/bangs head on table and looks for something to punch.

Atlanta now that both you and the Saints are actually good football teams the hate, vile, and disgust I hurl at you will have real meaning. This gets me so excited I want to kiss you but instead I'd probably just punch you in the face.


The Week's games

Last Week:3-2
Season: 6-4

New Orleans (-4) vs. Atlanta: Hey Atlanta, the Saints are coming off a short week, a cross country flight, and won't have Reggie Bush so you probably won't ever have a better chance to beat Drew Brees in the Superdome. I have no idea what to make of Atlanta. They lost to a team with no QB (Pittsburgh) then beat a team with no QB (Arizona) so I'm not ready to believe their defense is any better. This should a good test for the Saints defense.

The Saints usually play better run defense at home and have a better pass rush. The offense will get on track but consider this the opening chapter in the book where the Saints are the mountain the Falcons will take about three years to climb. We'll call this chapter 'Matt Ryan's trail of tears' and we'll bottle those tears to make a Hurricane to drink after the game to celebrate. Remember kids to always drink responsibly and enjoy those Matt Ryan tears.

Saints 38-31

Miami (-2.5) vs. New York Jets: I can't explain to you how excited my fiancee was to know Brett Favre nearly singlehandly cost the Vikings the game against Dolphins. The only thing that would have made her happier is if a Dolphin linebacker had slapped Favre with a pair of Wranglers after each sack and interception. Also, Tony Sparano, I liked you much better when you were 65 pounds heavier and looked like Chef Boyardee on the sidelines. Now you look like my annoying Italian cousin about to go clubbing with your sunglasses inside disaster.

Dolphins 21-13

Detroit (+11) at Minnesota: Lions I won't quit on you so don't you quit on me. Am I the only one who is fantasizing about watching Brett Favre explain why he is running back to Mississippi and hear him say, 'I don't love playing like a kid out there anymore.'

Lions 24-17

New England (+14) vs. Buffalo: I know the Bills will win a game I'm just not willing to believe it will happen before Thanksgiving.

Patriots 30-13

Tampa Bay (+2.5) vs. Pittsburgh: This isn't so much me believing in the Bucs as it is thinking if the Steelers fall behind 10-0 against any team they're screwed. And Josh Freeman won't be Vince Young terrible.

Bucs 13-10

Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at ralphmalbrough@hotmail.com, find him on facebook, or listen to his Saints podcast at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/forecastradio

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