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Saints Beat Falcons 43-37 in Overtime Thriller

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The Saints are 2-1 after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 43-37 in overtime. Life is good, everyone is beautiful!

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 New Orleans Saints have been an enigmatic team: coming into the season with all sorts of high expectations, the Saints were thoroughly dominated by the Tampa Bay Bucs in the season opener, then squeaked by the Cleveland Browns in week two. The task was not getting any easier this afternoon in Atlanta, as the Saints faced their division archrival, the Atlanta Falcons, with each team looking to go to 2-1 and put their opponent in an early divisional hole.

1st HALF

The Saints came out of the gate smoking, after the Falcons had won the toss and deferred to the second half. New Orleans marched 75 yards down the field in a blink to take a 7-0 lead on a Drew Brees’ pass to Ted Ginn Jr. The Falcons would answer on their second possession, with Matt Ryan finding Calvin Ridley who abused P.J. Williams on that drive, to tie the game at 7. The Saints defense would tighten things up, with rookie Marcus Davenport notching his first NFL sack. Drew Brees and the offense would flirt with the end zone but only come up with field goals to extend the Saints lead to 13-7. In the process, Brees became the NFL all-time leader in completions when he reached 6,301, passing Brett Favre.

The Falcons would wrestle the lead back in a two-play, 75-yard drive that saw Calvin Ridley continue to roast P.J. Williams, catching a 75-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan and giving Atlanta a 14-13 lead after the extra point. After a punt by the Saints, the defense forced the Falcons into a three-and-out, giving the Saints the ball back with 40 seconds left. In two passes to Alvin Kamara and Benjamin Watson, the Saints got into field goal and Wil Lutz converted a 45-yard field goal to give New Orleans a 16-14 lead at halftime.

2nd HALF

The Falcons started the second half with the ball, quickly getting into the Saints red zone on a pass interference by Ken Crawley on the unstoppable Calvin Ridley. Matt Ryan would find Ridley again for a touchdown, giving the Falcons a 21-16 lead. After a punt by the Saints, the defense would step up once again and force the Falcons into a punt, which was blocked by the Saints. Craig Robertson returned the punt to Atlanta’s 16-yard line. Drew Brees would then find Cameron Meredith for his first touchdown as a Saint to put New Orleans back in front 23-21.

The Falcons would not wait to respond, driving right down the field on their next possession, with Matt Ryan hitting running back Tevin Coleman for a touchdown, and the Falcons converting the two-point try to retake the lead 29-23. In a game of: “anything you can do I can do better,” the Saints marched right down the field, actually mixing up the run and the pass and using a Wild Cat formation to run Taysom Hill deep into Falcons territory. On 4th and goal from the one-yard line, Drew Brees found fullback Zach Line for a touchdown and the see-saw after continued with New Orleans taking a 30-29 lead, the seventh lead change of the game.

The Falcons would waste no time getting back into the Saints’ red zone on a 58-yard bomb to Julio Jones. The Saints thought they had held Atlanta to a field goal try, but a personal foul by David Onyemata who hit the center on the field goal attempt gave the Falcons a first-and-goal. On the very next play, Matt Ryan hit Mohamed Sanu for a touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion to Sanu again, to give the Falcons a 37-30 lead.

What did you expect would happen? Of course, the Saints then drove right down the field and into Falcons territory on the back of runs by Alvin Kamara and Ted Ginn Jr. and they would get into the end zone with a run by none other than quarterback Drew Brees himself. Wil Lutz would tie the game at 37, with a minute and 15 seconds left in the game. The Falcons would have one last chance to go ahead, but the Saints defense stopped them to take the game into overtime.

Overtime

The Saints would win the toss and take the ball, immediately driving deep into Falcons territory. Never giving the Falcons a chance to possess the ball, New Orleans would punch it in the end zone with Drew Brees’ patented “Fleur-de-Leap” to give the good guys a 43-37 win.

Phew! and WHO DAT Y’ALL, the Saints are 2-1

***

Below is a timeline of the game:

1st Quarter

  • Falcons win the toss and defer to the second half
  • Brees finds Michael Thomas for a 39-yard reception on the first play
  • Saints get into the red zone in the blink of an eye
  • Brees finds Ted Ginn Jr. for a touchdown
  • NO: 7 - ATL: 0
  • Falcons take over at their 25-yard line
  • Saints defense forces the Falcons into a three-and-out
  • Saints take over at their 21-yard line
  • Saints go three-and-out and have to punt
  • Falcons take over at their 19-yard line
  • Falcons get into Saints territory
  • Matt Ryan finds Calvin Ridley for a touchdown
  • NO: 7 - ATL: 7
  • Saints start at their 25-yard line
  • Saints get into Falcons territory at the 44-yard line as the quarter ends

2nd Quarter

  • Saints’ drive stalls and they punt
  • Falcons start at their 20-yard
  • Marcus Davenport sacks Matt Ryan and forces the Falcons to punt
  • Saints take over at their 38-yard line and get into Falcons territory
  • Brees ties Brett Favre for the all-time lead in completions in the NFL at 6,300
  • Saints stall and Wil Lutz makes a 49-yard field goal
  • NO: 10 - ATL: 7
  • Falcons take over at their 25-yard line
  • Falcons stall and have to punt
  • Saints take over at their 27-yard line
  • Brees finds Michael Thomas for a pass near midfield
  • Brees is now the all-time leader in completions in the NFL with 6,301
  • Saints get into the red zone on a pass to Ben Watson
  • Saints stall and Wil Lutz makes a 21-yard field goal
  • NO: 13 - ATL: 7
  • Falcons take over at their 25-yard line
  • Matt Ryan finds Calvin Ridley who roasts P.J. Williams again for a 75-yard touchdown
  • NO: 13 - ATL: 14
  • Saints Get to their 44-yard line but stall
  • Falcons take over at their 9-yard line
  • Falcons go three-and-out and have to punt
  • Saints take over at their 42-yard line with 40 seconds left in the half
  • Saints get into field goal range in two passes to Kamara and Watson
  • Wil Lutz makes a 45-yard field goal
  • NO: 16 - ATL: 14

3rd Quarter

  • Falcons start at their 25-yard line
  • Falcons get into the red zone on a pass interference call on Calvin Ridley
  • Matt Ryan finds Calvin Ridley for a touchdown
  • NO: 16 - ATL: 21
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line
  • Brees gets sacked by Vic Beasley and the Saints have to punt
  • Saints penalties mounting, giving the Falcons great field position at their 47-yard line
  • Saints defense stiffens and forces the Falcons to punt
  • Saints block the punt, Craig Robertson picks it up
  • Saints take over at the Falcons 16-yard line
  • Brees finds Cameron Meredith for a touchdown
  • NO: 23 - ATL: 21
  • Falcons take over at their 17-yard line
  • Atlanta easily gets into Saints territory and into the red zone
  • Falcons are knocking at the door as the quarter ends

4th Quarter

  • Matt Ryan finds Tevin Coleman for a touchdown
  • Falcons go for two and convert easily
  • NO: 23 - ATL: 29
  • Saints take over at their 25-yard line with 14:11 left in the game
  • Saints use Taysom Hill in a Wild Cat formation to get into the red zone
  • Saints have a 4th and goal from the one-yard line and go for it
  • Brees finds fullback Zach Line for a touchdown
  • NO: 30 - ATL: 29
  • Falcons take over at their 25-yard line
  • Matt Ryan finds Julio Jones for a 58-yard bomb right into the Saints red zone
  • Cameron Jordan sacks Ryan on third and goal
  • A David Onyemata personal foul gives the Falcons a first down
  • Matt Ryan finds Mohamed Sanu for a touchdown
  • Ryan finds Sanu forthe two-point conversion
  • NO: 30 - ATL: 37
  • Saints take over at their 19-yard line
  • Saints get into the red zone in the blink of an eye
  • Saints have a first and goal as we hit the two-minute warning
  • On second and goal, Drew Brees runs into the end zone for a touchdown
  • Wil Lutz ties the game at 37 with the extra point
  • NO: 37 - ATL: 37
  • Falcons take over at their 26-yard line
  • Saints defense forces the Falcons to punt
  • Saints have the ball at their 13-yard line and take a knee

Overtime

  • Taysom Hill returns the kick to the 20-yard line
  • Saints get into Falcons territory and into the red zone
  • Saints get inside the five-yard line for a first-and -goal
  • Drew Brees finds Alvin Kamara inside the five-yard line
  • Brees leaps into the end zone for a touchdown
  • NO: 43 - ATL: 37
  • Saints Win! Saints Win!

Poll

Who was the Saints player of the game today?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Drew Breeeeeeees, Fleur-de-Leap Master
    (342 votes)
  • 2%
    Alvin Kamara, the Swiss Army Knife
    (10 votes)
  • 1%
    Michael Thomas, Catcher and Flexer Extraordinaire
    (7 votes)
  • 9%
    Taysom Hill, Jack-of-all-trades
    (41 votes)
  • 4%
    Burger One, Burger Two and Burger Three
    (19 votes)
419 votes total Vote Now