(RNN) - It's a story of unrequited love. Well, it was requited for a while, but the requitee went and found a new requitement in Seattle. The requiter hasn't recovered.
Primetime Thursday offers a deep-fried, heavily seasoned showdown in the NFC South. Sure, the Falcons (5-0) and the Saints (1-4) are on opposite ends of the division, but that doesn't stop area TV stations from shamelessly jawing at each other via Twitter … or this column from shamelessly promoting them.
This could be the game quarterback Drew Brees ends his period of mourning after losing tight end Jimmy Graham in the offseason. With only six touchdown passes through four starts, he's on pace for his lowest season total since arriving in New Orleans.
Young wideouts Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead want to show their brokenhearted All-Pro there are plenty of fish in the sea, while Marques Colston reminds him he's been there the whole time, usually in the slot formation.
And who's that mysterious, attractive new target in the backfield? Looking at you, C.J. Spiller.
Having said all that, new-found offensive relationships may not matter if defensive coordinator and long-haired meme machine Rob Ryan can't get his guys to stop anyone.
The Falcons have found the stud running back they always needed in Devonta Freeman. He has scored seven rushing TDs while averaging better than five yards per carry since getting the starting job three weeks ago. He's a nice pass-catching option, too - 17 catches for 177 yards in the same time frame.
WR Julio Jones has cooled down since Week 3, presumably because of nagging injuries, but he's slated to be active for the game. Matt Ryan sent him "Get Well Soon" cards all week after throwing two picks in the OT win against Washington.
Speaking of pain and suffering, the Washington football club is still run by Dan Snyder. Sorry Washington!
DeflateGate II: Air Pump Boogaloo? No, but Tom Brady and the Pats will have to brush the icicles off their shoulder pads after the reception they get in Indy.
Colts QB Andrew Luck remains questionable for the game but did get some practice reps in Wednesday. If he doesn't go, the team again turns to Matt "Mathuselah" Hasselbeck (he's 40, so he's football old). It should be noted that he's 2-0 in starts this season and played through a nasty bacterial infection last week, so I'll delete all the other age-related jokes I just wrote.
Indy leads the AFC South at 3-2 but that's only because it's the worst division in the NFL. On the bright side, RB Frank Gore and WR Andre Johnson put up their best numbers of the year against the Texans, so the experienced pair may still have some good football left to play.
The Patriots (4-0) look like the best team in football right now, and Brady and head coach Bill Belichick hold grudges. Angry, sullen, model-marrying grudges. They're going to do everything in their power to make this game a blowout by the second quarter - then they'll continue to play like they're behind three touchdowns by airing the ball out until the final second ticks away.
That won't make for a competitive contest, but it will be must-see TV. What's the record for most points in a game? (Answer: 73, by Chicago in 1940. Post-merger is 62, by multiple teams)
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville QB: The second-year man has let it fly this season, and he will need to keep doing it to make up for the subpar Jax D. Averaging 19 points per game in standard scoring, owned in only 41 percent of leagues and facing a Texans D that is struggling to defend the pass.
Knile Davis, Kansas City RB: If you missed your shot at Charcandrick West in the Black Friday-like rush to the waiver wire, don't count out Davis (owned in 48 percent of leagues) as the new go-to in K.C. He's the bigger back of the two, has more experience and could get a lot of the first and second down work.
Reuben Randle, New York Giants WR: Odell Beckham Jr. is questionable and didn't practice Thursday. Randle had a hamstring issue but was slated to clock in for work. If Beckham is limited or out, Randle would be the beneficiary of a large number of targets in the Monday night game.
And your weekly Hail Mary is all things Miami Dolphins: Regis Philbin could've out-coached the now-fired Joe Philbin, and the team has a lot of untapped talent. With new coach Dan Campbell, this may be the week Ryan Tannehill and Co. do more than take up space on your bench. The Dolphins D is a sneaky good play this week against the young Titans squad.
Follow on Twitter @MattQuillenRNN.