Saints Extend Win Streak With Win Over Falcons
The win streak continues for the New Orleans Saints.
New Orleans ran its current consecutive-game win streak to nine games on Sunday afternoon with a 21-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
With the victory, the Saints secured a season sweep of the Falcons, after a 24-9 win in the first meeting with Atlanta back on November 22, while also clinching a playoff berth in the NFC Playoffs for the fourth-consecutive year, a first in franchise history.
New Orleans has now beaten Atlanta in seven of their last eight meetings between the two NFC South rivals.
New Orleans got on the scoreboard first, at the 7:01 mark of the first quarter when Taysom Hill, starting his third game in place of the injured Drew Brees, connected with Tre'Quan Smith on a 15-yard touchdown pass, capping off a 7-play, 87-yard drive, which gave them a quick 7-0 lead.
Atlanta scored its first points at the 3:55 mark of the first quarter when Younghoe Koo booted through a long 53-yard field goal, wrapping up a 7-play, 40-yard drive, which cut their deficit to 7-3.
The Falcons drew to within one point at the 4:51 mark of the second quarter when Koo made good on his second field goal of the half, this one from 30 yards out, ending an 8-play, 52-yard drive, to make the score 7-6.
The Saints widened their lead at the 1:45 mark of the second quarter when Hill threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jared Cook, completing a 7-play, 75-yard drive, which extended their lead to 14-6.
Atlanta scored the final points of the first half, on the final play of the half when Koo converted his third field goal of the half, this one from 28 yards out, finalizing a 9-play, 65-yard drive, to make it 14-9, a lead the Saints would take with them into the halftime break.
New Orleans outgained Atlanta, in terms of total yards in the first half, 268-152, including a 133-30 advantage in rushing yards, as well as a 135-122 edge in passing yards.
Hill paced the Saints in the first half, completing 17-of-23 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 50 rushing yards on four carries, while Alvin Kamara rushed six times for 53 yards.
For the Falcons over the first 30 minutes, Matt Ryan completed 11-of-22 passes for 131 yards, while Julio Jones compiled five receptions for 76 yards.
New Orleans scored the first points of the second half, at the 9:01 mark of the third quarter when Kamara scored on an 11-yard touchdown run, capping off a 12-play, 75-yard drive, which extended its lead to 21-9.
Atlanta drew closer at the 7:43 of the fourth quarter when Ryan threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Russell Gage, wrapping up an 8-play, 85-yard drive, to make it 21-16.
That Falcons touchdown was the first touchdown allowed by New Orleans over its last three games, and only the second allowed over its last five.
That was as close as the Falcons would get, however, as the Saints hung on for the 21-16 triumph.
New Orleans outgained Atlanta, in terms of total yards in the first half, 424-332, including a 207-70 advantage in rushing yards, while the Falcons finished with a 262-217 edge in passing yards.
Hill led the way for the Saints, completing 27-of-37 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 83 rushing yards on 14 carries, while Alvin Kamara rushed 15 times for 88 yards and Michael Thomas had nine catches for 105 yards.
In a losing cause for the Falcons, Ryan completed 19-of-39 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown, while Jones finished with six receptions for 94 yards.
With the victory, New Orleans improved to 10-2, while Atlanta fell to 4-8.
The Saints return to action next Sunday when they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.