The New Orleans Saints will take on the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football in Week 12 of the NFL 2013 regular season tonight. These two teams are very much polar opposites this season with the Saints flying high on 8-2 and being touted as one of this year's Super Bowl favorites, where as the Falcons are struggling badly on 2-8 and left with nothing but pride to play for. The game will start at 8.25 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).
It's likely that when the NFL chose this game for its Thursday Night Football special at the end of November they believed it would be a crunch game with serious postseason implications. However, for the Falcons things have not gone at all as planned this season, and they enter this match up already without any hopes of making the playoffs.
It's a far cry from last season when the Falcons came to within a game of the Super Bowl. Expectations were sky high this season when things began; the team's roster seemed boosted by some additions and fans had every right to believe they would be in the postseason mix and be serious Super Bowl contenders again. Things have not panned out for them.
However, Julio Jones and Roddy White have been missing from various portions of the season, and that has seemingly had a massive affect on the team.
Heads have already dropped in Atlanta, and each week it already seems as though performances are getting worse.
Meanwhile the Saints are entirely at the opposite end of the season's fortunes. Last season they fell short spectacularly, but have since bounced back magnificently this term to take complete control of the division. It now looks as though they will take the divisional title they last won two seasons ago.
However, they will be tense - some shockingly good form from the unlikely Carolina Panthers is putting them under pressure, and things are not confirmed yet, there is still much work to do. The Panthers are surging at the moment and are taking down some big teams. The Saints will definitely need to win tonight to keep their lead over Carolina and maintain some breathing room.
Thursday Night Football between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons will start at 8.25 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the NFL Network, or online through free live stream by clicking here.