Saints-Falcons: Take New Orleans and points in best Thursday Night game yet

New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory carries New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory carries past Philadelphia Eagles defensive back David Sims on a touchdown run. (Nov. 5, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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John Boell Newsday sports writer John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various capacities since 1999. In 2010, he became Newsday's

SAINTS (5-6)

at FALCONS (10-1), 8:20 p.m.Falcons by 3 1/2; O/U: 56

TV: NFL; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

Congratulations, folks. We've endured such "Terrible Thursday" games as Browns-Ravens, Cardinals-Rams, Chiefs-Chargers and Dolphins-Bills among others. Yeesh! Well, this NFC South tilt in Atlanta should be a dandy.

Matt Ryan sure doesn't mind playing in the Georgia Dome. "Matty Ice" has the best home record to start a career of any QB in the Super Bowl era (31-4).

However, New Orleans (one of six NFC teams with 5-6 or 6-5 marks) is the only team to beat Atlanta this season and has won four straight vs. the Falcons. Drew Brees has won 11 of 13 vs. Atlanta since joining the Saints in 2006.

I think this is a field-goal game either way. So give me the more desperate team and the points. Oh yeah: If it comes down to overtime, skip the extra quarter and have tight ends Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez, both former college hoopsters, compete in a dunk-off on the goal posts.

THE PICK: Saints

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