Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis
Some games just mean more than others.
The Saints held on in a thriller of a game to stake their claim among the best. The Saints' defense, sans a couple of explosive plays, looked the part of a heavy-pressure, multiple-package defense. Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan was under duress much of the game. Conversely, Drew Brees was at times as well.
The Saints run game was effective, and helped to control the clock late in the game. Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore, Ben Watson and Kenny Stills all showed up in a major way.
This game was about as pivotal as one can be. The Falcons losing to the Saints highlights the fact the Saints might truly have their collective number.
With the 23-17 victory, the Saints have sole position of first place with everyone else in the division taking a loss. And now they essentially have a two game lead on the favorite Atlanta Falcons.
This might answer that age old question of, "Who Dat”?
Big win by Saints and welcome back to the NFL saints Defense.— mark schlereth (@markschlereth) September 8, 2013
The Saints defense rises up.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) September 8, 2013
Great win by the Saints, they exposed the Falcons' lack of depth and soft offensive line. The offense stayed committed to the run. They limited turnovers and forced them on defense. This can only get better for the Saints. Expect big things this season, if the defense plays like that.
Saints hold on! Great goal-line stand! Pressure bursts pipes!
Final Score: Falcons 17, Saints 23
0:54 remaining in the fourth quarter
One play to win it all for the Falcons on 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line.
1:25 remaining in the fourth quarter
The Falcons are driving. They are in hurry-up mode and are putting some major pressure on the Saints defense. The no-huddle is killing the Saints. There is miscommunication in the secondary. The Falcons have converted time after time. 1st-and-goal from the 8-yard line.
3:25 remaining in the fourth quarter
4th-and-2, the Saints go for it, but they are only trying to draw the Falcons offside.
A field goal by the Saints extends their lead.
Falcons 17, Saints 23
Looks like it will come down to the defense. What else would you expect?
5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter
The Saints are driving my friends. A 3rd-and-long conversion by Colston has the Saints in striking distance.
I tried to tell y'all Ben Watson may end up being the best addition. His ability to block and operate in the seams is sick.— Murf Baldwin (@UptownMurf) September 8, 2013
Tight end Ben Watson may end up being the best offseason addition for the Saints!
Drew Brees is now 21 of 30 for 284 yards, 2 TDs & 1 INT that really wasn't his fault. Passer rating: 108.2.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) September 8, 2013
9:24 remaining in the fourth quarter
The Saints force another punt. They desperately need to score here, and a field goal won't do. If they can run the ball, eat some clock and score—it may be curtains for the Falcons.
Falcons running back Steven Jackson is murder in the screen game. His ability to operate in space is abnormal for a man his size.
13:00 remaining in the fourth quarter
Well that drive was disheartening. Errant throws by Brees have the Saints punting again. The Saints need a TD to make it a two-possession contest.
Colston is starting to heat up, and the field is starting to widen. When Drew uses his feet to extend, he's almost unstoppable.
End of the third quarter
Falcons 17, Saints 20
1:30 remaining in the third quarter
Pierre Thomas is the most underrated player in the NFC South. His ability to do so much with such a small amount of carries is outstanding. He converts on the 3rd-and-1 with a pitch to the strong side, then gains another four on first down.
I love his versatility. He is the backbone of the backfield.
4:32 remaining in the third quarter
The Falcons' offensive line is being dominated! Ryan is sacked again, this time by DE/DT Akiem Hicks. Ryan is under pressure again on the subsequent play and is forced to flush and throw it away. The Falcons go safe on 3rd-and-long and throw a dump down to RB Jason Snelling. The Falcons punt.
On the ensuing possession, Brees gets picked trying to throw to Colston on a cross pattern. Brees threw it behind Colston allowing Robert Alford to strip it away. This is a horrible turnover.
5:30 remaining in the third quarter
Newly acquired Saints OLB Parys Haralson sacks Matt Ryan!
The Saints with a masterful drive on that scoring one. The use of all the personnel is hard to deal with. Coach Payton is spreading it around.
Brees has all kinds of time this drive as the Saints have a good mix of Thomas/Sproles.— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) September 8, 2013
6:30 remaining in the third quarter
Touchdown Saints! Another pass to Graham on a flat route to the corner. Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud can't make the tackle.
Falcons 17, Saints 20
8:15 remaining in the third quarter
Kenny Stills continues to impress in the intermediate game. His catch converts the third-and-long. Another first down conversion by Graham has the Saints threatening again.
10:00 remaining in the third quarter
The Falcons are playing defensive end Kroy Biermann at OLB and having him guard Jimmy Graham one-on-one. Mismatch in every sense of the word. I'd go to that exclusively if I were Drew Brees.
Ryan to Julio Jones, Falcons take 17-13 lead. The loss of Keenan Lewis shows. Jones beat Corey White in the end zone.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) September 8, 2013
Huge run there. Roman Harper blitzed and was fooled by the play-action handoff. Jackson ran through a gaping hole.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) September 8, 2013
This is anyone's game. The Falcons are scoring off explosive plays. The Saints are operating their offense. Still need to commit to the run. The Falcons did and it worked.
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