Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is optimistic that his team can go a perfect 16-0 in the NFL regular season. The Falcons are already halfway there after winning their first eight games.

“I’m hoping so,” White, 31, responded when D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked him if the Falcons can go 16-0. “I think we have the pedigree to do it.”

White, an 8-year NFL veteran who was selected by Atlanta 27th overall in the 2005 NFL Draft out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, explained why he thinks the Falcons are capable of finishing the season with a perfect record.

“How we are on offense and defense and how we are as a team. This locker room is very united right now. Every week, we expect to win. There is not a team that I felt like when we went into a ball game this year that we didn’t feel like we were going to win,” the Falcons wide receiver said. “I think we can (go undefeated.) We just still have to be consistent, don’t turn over the ball and get turnovers. That’s been the key to winning games all over the league this year. If we can continue to do that, we’ll be just fine.”

Falcons head coach Mike Smith is telling his players not to think beyond the next game, let alone having thoughts of going 16-0.

The Falcons take on Drew Brees and the surging New Orleans Saints Sunday in New Orleans.

White downplayed the idea that there is a rivalry between Atlanta and New Orleans, who both compete in the NFC West.

“I don’t know if it’s a rivalry, because they’ve beat us like the last three of four times,” the wide receiver told the Journal-Constitution. “You actually have to win for it to be a rivalry and we have not done that the last few times. Hopefully, we can get down there and get us a W this time.”

White said he understands the Saints will be motivated to stop Atlanta from having a perfect season.

“This would make their whole entire month of November if they can mess up our record. We know that,” White said. “You don’t have to get people up for this game in the locker room. We all know what this game is about. We all know that we have to go out there and get after it.”

White wasn’t interested in giving New Orleans bulletin board material before Sunday. The wideout praised New Orleans in the Journal-Constitution interview and said the Saints would be a difficult playoff opponent.

“They are such a good football team. They have some close loses and some games that they should have won. But you never want those guys to sneak in the playoffs,” White said. “Especially with how explosive they are on offense. They are creating turnovers on defense and getting sacks and stuff. You don’t want them to sneak in and have to deal with those guys later on. If we can go down there and get us a win, we can kind of put them on the outside looking in.”