Drew Brees dissects the Atlanta Falcons’ defense with Colin Cowherd on ‘The Herd’

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees knows a thing or two about facing the Atlanta Falcons’ defense.

Twice this season, Brees and his Saints faced the Falcons. Twice, they put up more than 30 points. And twice, they lost anyway, including in Week 17.

Still, Brees had about as much success as anyone against Atlanta’s defense this year. He knows the Falcons’ strengths and weaknesses, which he dissected with Colin Cowherd on Thursday’s episode of The Herd live from Discovery Green in Houston for Super Bowl LI (Sunday, 2:00 PM ET, FOX and FOX Sports GO).

BREES: Listen, it’s the Seattle scheme, right? And so I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of complexity to what the Atlanta defense does. They’re going to play what they play, and they’re going to play it very well. The whole idea of the defense is keep it in front of you, rally up to the ball, make tackles. We’ll give you the three-, four-, five-yard gains, but eventually, you’re going to make a mistake, right? Or we’re going to get a sack, or a negative play, and we’re going to get you in a third-and-long situation.

And that’s where they thrive, because they’ve got pass rushers. Atlanta’s got eight pass rushers that they just cycle through all game long. And if they get you in long-yardage situations, or they’re playing with a lead, that’s when they can just tee off on you. […]

Cowherd asks the smart follow-up question of Brees: given that he played well against the Atlanta defense, and given that he and Tom Brady are similar quarterbacks, does Brees expect the Patriots to take advantage of those small gains in the Super Bowl?

BREES: Yes, and I think they play with that level of discipline. Not all teams are able to maintain that discipline throughout the course of a game. They want to get impatient, or they’re forced to get impatient, because of what’s going on on the other side of the ball. 

As Brees continues, Atlanta’s offense is also a crucial component of their defense — and he isn’t alone in his assessment. Earlier this week, NFL Hall of Famer and FOX Sports insider Cris Carter shared his keys for the Falcons to slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots on a live edition of the Make Me Smarter football podcast with Nick Wright.