Sloppy Saints Stymied by Atlanta, 26-9
The win streak is over for the Saints. To the team that blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl.
The Saints seemed to sleepwalk through Sunday against their arch rivals, giving up six sacks and committing eleven penalties for 85 yards en route to a 26-9 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday.
It's the first time in sixteen years a 1-7 team has beaten a 7-1 team (Jaguars over Colts, 2003.)
The teams traded field goals on their first two possessions before the Falcons ate up eight minutes with a 17-play, 75 yard drive aided by a pair of hands to the face penalties called on the Saints. Matt Ryan hit Austin Hooper with a touchdown pass for the score, giving Atlanta a 19-3 lead.
Atlanta got another field goal, this one from 36 yards out by Younghoe Koo to increase the Falcons lead to 13-3. New Orleans was penalized twice on their final drive of the half, forcing them to settle for a 47 yard field goal by Wil Lutz, cutting the lead to 13-6 at the break.
The Saints got three points closer early in the third quarter on Lutz' third field goal of the game, but Atlanta then embarked on a 13-play, 75 yard drive that consumed another 6:12. The drive was aided by the fourth hands to the face penalty of the game on the Saints and Ryan capitalized with a touchdown pass to Brian Hill to make the score 20-9.
An offensive holding call stopped the Saints' next drive but the defense was able to force an Atlanta punt. But the drive continued because of a roughing the kicker call, giving Atlanta another first down. Koo drilled a career long 48 yard field goal to increase the lead to 23-9. The Falcons got another field goal from Koo after the Saints failed on fourth down deep in their own territory.
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