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Matt Nagy is making an impressive first impression as an NFL head coach.Nagy has helped develop second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky into a solid NFL starter Cheap Vonn Bell Jersey , convinced Vic Fangio to stay on as defensive coordinator, and has the Chicago Bears in position to earn their first playoff berth since 2010 in his first year on the job.For doing all that, Nagy was picked as having done the NFL's best coaching job in 2018 in voting released Friday by a panel of 10 football writers for The Associated Press.Nagy received seven of the 10 first-place votes for his work leading the Bears (9-4) to the top of the NFC North behind an improved offense led by Trubisky and a fierce defense spearheaded by preseason acquisition Khalil Mack."(Nagy's) overseen a total turnaround of the Bears in just his first year as an NFL head coach, taking a team that hadn't finished above .500 since 2012 and turning them into the best of the NFC North," said Washington-based Howard Fendrich, who voted Nagy first. "He's an offensive guru who learned from former boss Andy Reid, and Chicago's play calling has been creative and fun 鈥?and overcome limitations at the QB spot to be good enough to let a superb defense lead the way."Seattle's Pete Carroll finished second in the voting for rebuilding the Seahawks on the fly following the departure of most key members from the Super Bowl-winning Legion of Boom defense.The Seahawks can clinch a playoff spot with a win this week despite losing key players Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril in the past year. Star safety Earl Thomas has also been sidelined most of the season, but it hasn't slowed down the Seahawks."For the second time, Carroll is retooling Seattle's roster," said New York-based Barry Wilner, who voted Carroll second behind Nagy. "Yet he's somehow improved the team in the first year of that rebuild. This is a textbook case of a coaches' heavy influence on a club's success."Carroll finished second despite not getting a first-place vote. The other coaches named No. 1 on ballots were Indianapolis first-year coach Frank Reich, who got one vote, and New England's Bill Belichick, who got two.Reich, who has helped a healthy Andrew Luck regain his top form, finished eighth overall. He wasn't even the top choice for the Colts, only getting the job after Josh McDaniels backed out shortly after Reich won the Super Bowl as offensive coordinator in Philadelphia."He took a team that went 4-12 last year, worked through a rough 1-5 start that could've easily turned into another losing season, and has them in playoff contention," said Philadelphia-based Rob Maaddi, who voted Reich first. "Reich's success in Indy coupled with Philadelphia's offensive misery since his departure after the Super Bowl prove his value."Belichick, who has a record five Super Bowl titles, finished in ninth place despite getting two first-place votes. Some voters believed this year wasn't his best coaching job, but he still had strong support from others."Despite the "Miami Miracle", he has the Patriots on the verge of a 10th consecutive division title," New York-based Simmi Buttar said. "Aside from quarterback of course, this is hardly the most talented roster in Foxborough, yet it would surprise no one if they once again reached the Super Bowl."Belichick was one of seven coaches named as a top 10 coach on all 10 ballots, joining Nagy, Carroll, third-place Andy Reid of Kansas City, fifth-place Sean McVay of the Rams, sixth-place Bill O'Brien of Houston, and seventh-place Sean Payton of New Orleans.Reid had the Chiefs tied for the most wins in the league through Week 14 after targeting quarterback Pat Mahomes in the 2017 draft and then cutting ties with longtime starter Alex Smith in the offseason to give Mahomes a chance.Mahomes has thrown a league-high 45 TD passes and is the latest quarterback to thrive under Reid's tutelage."Sure, the Chiefs were expected to be good this year, but Reid went all in with Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback 鈥?and this year's squad could be the veteran coach's best chance at a Super Bowl since his days in Philadelphia," New York-based Dennis Wazsak Jr. said.The Chargers' Anthony Lynn was on nine of 10 ballots and finished fourth overall Cheap Austin Carr Jersey , while John Harbaugh of Baltimore came in 10th place.The rankings:1. Matt Nagy, Bears2. Pete Carroll, Seahawks3. Andy Reid, Chiefs4. Anthony Lynn, Chargers5. Sean McVay, Rams6. Bill O'Brien, Texans7. Sean Payton, Saints8. Frank Reich, Colts9. Bill Belichick, Patriots10. John Harbaugh, Ravens Over the years, there have been many shootouts between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons, two of the most bitter rivals in the NFL. High yardage output has been particularly true since the arrival of coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees to New Orleans in 2006. New Orleans has averaged nearly 26 points per game against the Falcons since Brees' arrival. The future Hall of Fame quarterback has had some of his best career games against their longtime foe, and is off to a fast start in 2018. Both Atlanta and New Orleans enter this weekend's game with 1-1 records, each winning last week after opening game losses. The Falcons entered the season with one of the NFL's fastest defenses, but have been plagued by injury early on. The Saints meanwhile, after having one of the league's most balanced offensive attacks in 2017, have been extremely one-dimensional during the suspension of Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram. Today, we have a look at how the New Orleans offense may have success against the defense of their arch rival. SAINTS PASS OFFENSE vs. FALCONS PASS DEFENSE Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty ImagesNew Orleans has the league's 4th ranked passing offense. Quarterback Drew Brees cooled off a bit in the team's second game against the Cleveland Browns, completing 74% of his passes for 243 yards after completing 82% of his passes in a 439 yard performance on opening week against Tampa Bay. Brees uncharacteristically missed on a couple of open touchdown opportunities against the Browns that would have made the margin of victory wider, but for the most part he is as accurate as he's ever been. A far bigger concern for the New Orleans offense is the fact that their quarterback isn't getting the support from the team's complimentary targets that he had been accustomed to prior to last season. Michael Thomas (28 receptions) and Alvin Kamara (15 receptions) have accounted for an astounding 66% of Brees' completions. Ted Ginn Jr. has caught six passes for 123 yards and a score, missing on a couple of other big plays, continues to show that he can be a big play threat. Rookie third round pick Tre'quan Smith looked like a potential star during the preseason, but has just one catch thus far, while free agent acquisition Cameron Meredith has been inactive for both of the team's opening games. Veteran tight end Benjamin Watson has caught seven passes, and does have the trust of his quarterback,but the 37-yr. old is no longer a consistent threat down the field. Thomas' 28 catches in the first two games are an NFL record, and he has tortured defenses for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has had two critical fumbles so far this season, but ball security has never been an issue with the third year wideout, and he has certainly become one of the league's most consistent weapons. The other player that keeps opposing defensive coaches up at night is Kamara, who is one of the most versatile weapons in the NFL. The reigning offensive rookie of the year already has one 100-yd. receiving game to his credit, and combines with Thomas to give New Orleans perhaps the most feared duo in the league. The excessive defensive focus on the two Saints stars could limit their production at times, as it did in moments against Cleveland, if nobody else on the New Orleans offense steps up to provide a legitimate threat. The Saints offensive line struggled a bit to protect Brees against a solid Browns pass rush, sacking him three times. The line is one of the better in the league, but the lack of a running game is allowing defensive fronts to generate a more focused pass rush. Left guard Andrus Peat has been nicked up by injury, and both he and left tackle Terron Armstead were limited in practice throughout the week, but look to be good to play on Sunday. Tackles Ryan Ramczyk and Armstead must be able to contain the speed that Atlanta has on the edge, and the interior of Peat Cheap Sheldon Rankins Jersey , Larry Warford, and center Max Unger must provide a clean pocket for Brees to step up and deliver accurate strikes down the field. The Falcons rank 10th in defending the pass, but have been ravaged by injuries and gave up up over 300 yards through the air against Cam Newton and the Panthers last week. Atlanta had already lost safety Keanu Neal for the season in their opening night loss to Philadelphia, and had to place star linebacker Deion Jones on injured reserve. This week's news that pass rusher Takkarist McKinley along reserves Derrick Shelby and Corey Nelson will be out for this game as well makes their defense much thinner and more vulnerable. Defensive end Vic Beasley is still a dangerous pass rusher, and the Falcons do a good job of pressuring the passer from the defensive tackle position. The loss of Deion Jones at linebacker is crippling. He is quickly becoming one of the league's better linebackers, and has made a number of gamechanging plays against the Saints in four meetings. Taking Jones' place in the middle is Foyesade Oluokon, but he will be flanked by two athletic and talented players in Duke Riley and De'Vondre Campbell on the outside. Cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford will take on the primary responsibility of trying to contain Thomas and the other New Orleans receivers, along with Brian Poole and rookie Isaiah Oliver. Thomas has averaged almost 8 catches for nearly 118 yards and 3 touchdowns in his four career meetings against the Falcons, including 10 grabs for 117 yards and a touchdown in their first match up last year. Neal is a big loss on the back end, but safeties Ricardo Allen and Damontae Kazee will try to keep Brees and company from making big plays over the top. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images~ Matchup to watch: Alvin Kamara vs. Falcons LB's Duke Riley/De'Vondre Campbell/Foyesade Oluokon ~Atlanta's defense managed to limit Kamara's impact in both meetings last season. He had only four touches for 27 yards in their first game, before leaving with a concussion during a 20-17 loss in Atlanta. During the rematch in New Orleans, Kamara had 19 touches, but totaled just 90 yards. Deion Jones' speed was the neutralizing factor, but the responsibility will now fall to Riley and Campbell. They weren't able to keep pace with Carolina's all-purpose threat Christian McCaffrey last week, allowing 139 total yards, including 14 catches and 102 receiving. Kamara is even more explosive than McCaffrey, and could be a recipe for disaster for the Atlanta defense. SAINTS RUSH OFFENSE vs. FALCONS RUSH DEFENSE Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty ImagesIngram's absence from the lineup has made the Saints completely one-dimensional. As great as Kamara has been as a receiver, he has only gotten 75 yards on the ground and averaged 3.6 per run attempt. He does continue to be a threat near the goal line however, running for two scores and converting two 2-pt. conversions on the ground. New Orleans as a team has averaged only 2.9 yards per rush, and ranks dead last in the league in rushing yardage. Reserve backs Jonathan Williams and Mike Gillislee have contributed absolutely nothing to the offense, but the usually terrific Saints offensive line has struggled to open holes for anyone running the football. Atlanta has struggled to stop the run, ranking 24th, and surrendering over five yards per carry. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett helped form a stout interior that contributed to a 9th rank against the run last season, but he along with Terrell McClain and rookie Deadrin Senat have not been able to hold up at the point of attack. The result has been opposing linemen able to get to the Falcons undersized linebackers, especially troubling with the absence of Jones. Atlanta's defensive ends best attributes are as pass rushers, and the team's safeties have struggled in run support without Neal. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports~ Matchup to watch: OL Andrus Peat/Max Unger/Larry Warford vs. DT's Jarrett/McClain/SenatJarrett can be a pass rushing force from his defensive tackle position, but is also a key to attacking the Atlanta defense on the ground. If Jarrett and the rest of the Atlanta interior can be controlled, it allows Brees a clean pocket to operate. It also gives Saints tackles Ramczyk and Armstead an opportunity to control the Atlanta edge in the running game, perhaps allowing the team to generate rushing yards on the outside. WHAT TO LOOK FOR Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty ImagesThe Saints best hope for offensive success until Ingram's return lie on the abilities of Brees and his playmakers in the passing game, along with stout pass protection up front. Thomas presents a mammoth challenge to all defensive backs, and Kamara's skills stretch a defense to it's breaking point. New Orleans will need one of their other receivers to step up and alleviate some of the pressure on Kamara and Thomas to produce big numbers. Atlanta is vulnerable in the middle of the field with the injuries to Jones and Neal, so expect the Saints to attack down the center. Perhaps by getting Tre'quan Smith, Austin Carr or Cameron Meredith more heavily involved in the game plan. New Orleans could try to generate a running game by using Kamara more off tackle and around the edge, rather than attacking between the guards. The Saints must convert their 3rd down chances, they are just 33.3% in that department this season, but are facing an Atlanta defense who is allowing opponents to convert 48% of their 3rd down opportunities. Brees needs just 14 completions to move into first place on the NFL's all-time completion list. He could get that before halftime in this one against an injury depleted rival, and seems destined for another huge game if the Saints are to win this key divisional battle. Custom Atlanta Falcons Jerseys


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