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Saints-Falcons Final Score: Saints Crush Falcons 31-21 on Thursday Night Football

In a miraculous performance that very few thought possible, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons 31-21 on Thursday Night Football.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Woo Hoo! Victory! Here's your Falcons @ Saints game recap.

First Quarter

The Saints took the opening kick-off and started their first drive from the 20-yard line. Most notable on offense was the absence of starting left tackle Terron Armstead (ankle injury). Rookie Andrus Peat was blocking well in that spot as the Saints moved the ball down into Falcons territory. Then, just as our boys seemed to be gaining momentum, Peat got rolled up on and was forced from the game. He was able to limp to the locker room without help, so maybe the injury isn't too bad. Tony Hills (just signed this week) came on to replace Peat. Despite the injury on their already depleted and suspect O-line, the Saints drove the length of the field and capped it off with a Mark Ingram TD run on 1st and goal. Ingram fought like a beast to cover those 2 yards to the endzone. FALCONS 0, SAINTS 7

The Falcons started their first drive from their own 27-yard line and quickly reached mid-field on a long pass to Julio Jones. A few plays later, they went for it on 4th and 1 from the Saints' 39-yard line. Matt Ryan fumbled the snap, but was able to recover it for no gain. Saints take over from their own 39-yard line. So far so good for Saints fans!

The Saints' second drive didn't go nearly as well as their first as they were forced into a 3-and-out after three straight run plays.  After the punt, the Falcons took over at their own 20-yard line.

HOORAY for the Saints defense! They forced a 3-and-out after a Matt Ryan sack for a huge loss. THEN, in the biggest déjà vu scene I've ever experienced during a football game, linebacker Michael Mauti BLOCKED the punt, recovered the ball, and ran it into the endzone! WTF!? That looked just like the Steve Gleason blocked punt against the Falcons in 2006! HOLY CRAP! FALCONS 0, SAINTS 14

The Falcons started their next drive at their own 20-yard line with 2:06 remaining in the quarter and quickly moved to mid-field on a 23-yard pass to Julio Jones. A few plays later, the quarter ended with the Falcons at the Saints' 19-yard line with a 2nd down and 4 yards to go.

Second Quarter

Three plays later, the Falcons finally got on the scoreboard with a 2nd and goal pass to Roddy White, his first TD of the season. Bummer, but the Saints still lead. FALCONS 7, SAINTS 14

Drew Brees and company started their next drive from their own 20-yard line. After a couple of first down pick-ups, the Saints reached mid-field, but were pushed back 8 yards after the Falcons defense sniffed out and stopped a Khiry Robinson run to the left. Run to the left? Why are they running to left when all they have on that side are back-up linemen? After no gain on a 3rd and 18, the good guys were forced to punt to the bad guys. Damn it!

The Falcons started from their own 30-yard line and crossed into Saints territory after three plays. Just when it looked like the Falcons were about to punch it into the endzone for another TD, running back Tevin Coleman fumbled the ball at the NO 9-yard line.  Dannell Ellerbe had reached in to knock the ball loose from Coleman's grip. Brandon Browner recovered the ball and the Saints took over for their next drive only to fall flat again with another 3-and-out.

After a Falcons holding penalty during the punt, Matt Ryan and his gang of red-shirted outlaws started their next drive at their own 26-yard line. Once again, they soon crossed into Saints territory and were down to the NO 14-yard line when the 2:00 warning came.

Were the football gods smiling down on the home team? Something sure was up because Matt Ryan fumbled the ball AGAIN on the very next play! Dannell Ellerbe recovered the ball for the Saints at the ATL 17-yard line. I don't know what's happening in this game so far but I hope the good fortune continues.

Drew Brees and his team of extraordinary gentlemen took over and soon picked up three first downs on three consecutive passes to tight end Benjamin Watson.  A sack on Brees in Falcons territory, however, put an abrupt stop to that awesome Saints momentum. On 3rd and 15, Brees slightly overthrew a long pass to Watson that fell incomplete and stalled the drive. Zach Hocker came on to try the 51-yard field goal, but it went wide right. No points.

The Falcons got the ball with 0:14 remaining in the half, but were not able to advance beyond the NO 45 as Rob Ryan's prevent defense kept them from getting into FG territory.


Third Quarter

The Falcons started their first drive of the 2nd half from the 20-yard line.  After advancing only to their own 36-yard line, they were forced to punt. The Saints defense held again. Can this trend continue? I hope so.

Drew Brees and the offense started from their own 31-yard line. Sir Breesus quickly nailed Ben Watson AGAIN for a 22-yard pass completion. Watson is having a huge night so far. The Saints picked up their 3rd first down of the drive on an 8-yard pass to Brandin Cooks at the ATL 34-yard line. Sadly however, the drive stalled at the 12-yard line with a 4th down and 1 yard to go. Sean Payton decided on the less suspenseful option and sent Zach Hocker out again to try the 31-yard field goal. The kick was good! It sure would have been great if they could have instead scored the TD. Seems unlikely that the current 10-point lead will hold. FALCONS 7, SAINTS 17

After another Hocker touchback, the Falcons started their next drive from their own 20-yard line. Miraculously, the Saints defense held them to another 3-and-out. Marcus Murphy returned the Falcons punt to the NO 37-yard line.

Drew Brees hit Willie Snead for a 19-yard pass completion on 2nd down to advance to the ATL 41-yard line. Soon after, no. 9 hit Ben Watson again for a 17-yard pass to advance into the red zone. We really could use a TD here. Come on, guys! On 3rd and goal, Brees' pass to Brandon Coleman was incomplete. The offense stayed on the field and Brees used his hard count to lure the defense into an encroachment penalty. The Saints advanced half the distance to the goal to set up a closer 4th and goal from the 2-yard line. Payton again left the offense on the field. At the snap, Brees lobbed a play-action pass to Ben Watson for an uncontested TD reception. WOO HOO! This Saints lead seems too good to be true! Will the Falcons overcome another 2nd half deficit and win this game? God, I hope not! FALCONS 7, SAINTS 24

The Dirty Birds started again at their own 20-yard line. The Saints forced them into an early 3rd down that Matty Ice was able to scramble for enough yards to advance the chains. Linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha laid a pretty big "remember me shot" on Ryan at the end of that play. The quarter ended on a 2nd and 5 play where Cameron Jordan shot into the Falcons backfield to wrap up Devonta Freeman for a 5-yard loss.

Fourth Quarter

The Falcons continued their drive with a 3rd and 10 from their own 46-yard line. Delvin Breaux came up huge shortly after when he skillfully broke up a pass attempt to Julio Jones. The Falcons chose to go for it on 4th and 5 and Matt Ryan completed a 20-yard pass to Jacob Tamme to advance to the NO 29-yard line. Brandon Browner was covering. Soon after, Devonta Freeman broke off a 25-yard rush up the middle for a Falcons touchdown. He got very good blocking on that play and probably could have run for 99 yards if he had to. FALCONS 14, SAINTS 24

The Saints started their next drive at their own 20-yard line. Mark Ingram rushed for 10 yards on the first play. On the next play, it was the Brees to Watson show again as the Saints moved almost to midfield on a 14-yard pass. Watson was up to 10 receptions for 127 yards at this point. A 26-yard pass to Brandin Cooks soon got the Saints to the ATL 22-yard line. Come on, Saints! Extend this lead! A couple plays later, Brees took a scary hit to his neck area during a shovel pass to Ingram, but appeared to be OK afterwards. Soon after, the Saints got a 1st and goal from the 2-yard line after a Falcons hands to the face penalty. On the very next play, Mark Ingram followed fullback Austin Johnson into the endzone. YES! FALCONS 14, SAINTS 31, with 8:02 to go in the game!

The Falcons started their next drive with a long pass attempt to Julio Jones that was well defended and broken up by Delvin Breaux. It's awesome to see that Breaux has finally learned to get his head around and play the ball when he's defending against a pass attempt. Breaux is proving to be an excellent offseason player acquisition. It ain't easy to cover Julio Jones! On the next two plays, the Saints D came up huge with not one but TWO Matt Ryan sacks. 3-and-out! I'm now finally feeling comfortable enough to believe our Saints may actually win this f***ing game! Marcus Murphy returned the Falcons punt to the ATL 42-yard line.

The ensuing Saints drive was obviously aimed at running the ball and running off as much time as possible. It ended with a 4th and 8 field goal attempt from the ATL 30. Zach Hocker came on and missed the 48-yard attempt. He may soon find himself out the door if he keeps that up.

The Falcons took over the ball with 3:57 remaining in the game. They looked somewhat sloppy and disoriented, but still managed to move the ball into the red zone.  Devonta Freeman rushed to score a touchdown on the next play. Damn it! FALCONS 21, SAINTS 31

As expected, the Falcons attempted the onside kick, but it was recovered for the Saints by Willie Snead at the ATL 46. With 1:28 remaining in the game, the Saints offense kept the ball on the ground in an attempt to run out the clock. The Falcons used their remaining timeouts and forced a 4th down at the ATL 44. The Saints punted with 0:39 remaining.

On the very next play, Cameron Jordan reached in to knock the ball loose from Matt Ryan and recovered the fumble! Game over, bitches! Game over!


Postgame Wrap-Up

Props to new Saints OT Tony Hills, who was signed this week and filled in admirably for the injured Andrus Peat!

Let it be known that the only reason the Saints won this game is because I decided to start the Falcons DST in one of my fantasy leagues this week. That and that alone is why the Saints are now 2-4 and the Falcons are no longer undefeated. YOU'RE WELCOME!!

We here at Canal Street Chronicles are now ready to accept the humble apologies of all those Falcoholics who came over this week to foolishly talk trash. Never count your dirty birds before they hatch! The Saints may still finish the season with a miserable 2-14 record, but at least we beat your asses tonight! Falcons @ Saints Gamecenter

Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
M. Ryan 30 44 295 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
D. Freeman 13 100 7.7 1
T. Coleman 4 40 10 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Jones 6 93 15.5 0
D. Freeman 8 56 7 1

Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
D. Brees 30 39 312 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
M. Ingram 20 46 2.3 2
K. Robinson 7 23 3.3 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
B. Watson 10 127 12.7 1
W. Snead 4 55 13.8 0