One of the NFL's better rivalries has plenty riding on its latest installment.
Saints-Falcons on Thursday night also is one of the better midweek matchups on this year's schedule.
When the first-place New Orleans Saints face the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night in an NFC South matchup with serious playoff ramifications, the spotlight will be on the guys in the backfield.
All four of them.
The Saints (9-3) boast the league's most dynamic duo. Mark Ingram has rushed for 922 yards and nine touchdowns, while also being on the receiving end of 42 passes from Drew Brees.
But the big story in the Big Easy has been the emergence of rookie Alvin Kamara, who already has more than 1,200 yards running and receiving, along with 11 TDs.
The Falcons (7-5) have their own productive pairing. Devonta Freeman, the league's highest-paid back, and Tevin Coleman had combined for more than 1,500 yards running and receiving, along with 12 touchdowns.
"Both teams have two really good running backs who like to get after it," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "If you like running backs, it's your kind of game."
The Saints claimed sole possession of the division lead with a victory over Carolina (8-4) last weekend, and they're two games in front of the Falcons.
Atlanta desperately needs a win to have a realistic shot at a second straight NFC South title.