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Ups and Downs: Six Saints who were sensational in Sunday’s beatdown of the Falcons

The Saints impressed on both sides of the ball to keep their seven-game winning streak alive

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints dominated the Atlanta Falcons 24-9 on Sunday in a win that showcased just how dangerous the Saints are on both sides of the ball.

Not many, if any, teams can keep their winning ways going with their starting quarterback sidelined with injury, but the Saints did just that. With Drew Brees sidelined for three weeks, Taysom Hill made his first career start and didn’t look back, leading the Saints to their seventh straight win. The Saints are now first in the NFC.

Usually for Ups and Downs, what went right and what went wrong are discussed. Seeing how little to nothing went wrong for the Saints on Sunday, it would be more appropriate to discuss who played a key role in things going right.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Hendrickson, Cameron Jordan and David Onyemata

Matt Ryan will be having nightmares of the Saints pass rush for a long time. The Saints sacked the Falcons quarterback a whopping eight times, while hitting him 11 times. Trey Hendrickson, Cameron Jordan and David Onyemata played a huge part in this havoc wrecked on Ryan, combining for seven of the eight sacks on the night. The Falcons offensive line simply could not hold the core of the Saints pass rush. Jordan led all players in sacks on the night, with three, while Hendrickson and Onyemata had two sacks each. Hendrickson’s 9.5 sacks this season is now tied for the most in the league with Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett. The Saints pass rushers’s pressure on Ryan played a crucial part in the two interceptions he threw on the day.

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas had his first 100+ yard game this season in what was his 4th game this year, after missing multiple games to injury. Thomas was Taysom Hill’s number one target and led all receivers in total receiving yards. Thomas had nine receptions for 104 yards, averaging 11.6 yards per reception. With Brees out for the next few weeks, it can be expected that Thomas continues to be the number one option he’s been for the Saints in previous seasons.

Taysom Hill

Taysom Hill exceeded expectations in his first debut start and outplayed former MVP Matt Ryan. Hill clearly has learned a thing or two from Brees about accuracy, completing 18 of his 23 throws for 23 yards. Although he didn’t throw a touchdown, Hill, arguably the most versatile player in the league, led all players in rushing yards with 51 yards on 10 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns.

Demario Davis

Demario Davis continued his amazing season on Sunday, leading the Saints in total tackles with seven total tackles, four solo tackles, one pass deflection and one sack. His presence was felt every snap, and word’s starting to get around that he’s the best middle linebacker in football. Davis and the Saints defense are currently the best against the run in the NFL, allowing the least rushing yards in the league.


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