Top stats to know: Saints at Falcons

The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will kick off Week 12 Thursday night. The teams are heading in opposite directions.

Just a Brees

Drew Brees has been giving opposing defenses fits for years. He needs just 38 passing yards to move past Warren Moon into fifth place on the all-time passing yards list.

In 16 career games against the Falcons, Brees has passed for 4,862 yards, his most against any single opponent. However in his last matchup at Atlanta last year, he threw five interceptions and zero touchdown passes.

Less effective away from home

Brees is nowhere near as effective away from the Superdome. This season, his Total QBR at home is 78.5, but on the road, that number drops to 58.5. His completion percentage also drops from 73.5 percent to 60.7 percent.

Falcons struggling

The Falcons continue to struggle after going 13-3 last season. The Falcons are 2-8 this season and have lost at least nine of their first 11 games nine times in franchise history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s tied for the second-most in the Super Bowl era (Cincinnati Bengals are first with 11).

The Falcons defense has a defensive EPA of -88.54, second worst in the NFL. This metric looks at the impact of every play and factors in things such as field position. Last season the Falcons defense was 11th in Defensive EPA.

Elite tight ends

The Saints and Falcons have Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez, respectively, two of the top tight ends. To get the ball into the hands of these talented players, their teams use some unconventional methods.

Receiving When Split Out Wide This Season

No two tight ends have been split out wide more frequently than Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez this season. Graham has more receptions when split out wide than any Saints wide receiver.

Brees and Matt Ryan have each thrown touchdown passes to 10 different receivers this season, most in the NFL.