New Orleans was able to pick up a 21-18 win over the Atlanta Falcons as they complete the season sweep over their division rivals. The Saints were able to hold on after their defense was able to step up with a game-saving turnover that halted a Falcons comeback. New Orleans will travel to Cleveland next Sunday to take on the Browns in week 16.
Late Turnover Seals the Win for the Saints:
The Saints were controlling most of the game, before the Falcons had a sense of life after falling down 21-10 to New Orleans. Atlanta was able to was able to cut into the Saints lead in the fourth quarter with a one-yard touchdown run by Cordarrelle Patterson. The Falcons would decide to go for the two-point conversion to make it a field goal game.
Atlanta would end up converting the two-point conversion to cut into the Saints 21-18 lead with seven minutes left to play. New Orleans offense would stall out on their next drive setting up a potential for the Falcons breaking the backs of the Saints for consecutive games.
The Falcons had success of moving the ball down the field as they were targeting a game-tying field goal try or converting on a touchdown drive. The Saints defense rose the occasion as Desmond Ridder completed a pass to Drake London to move the Falcons into field goal territory, but London would end up fumbling the ball.
New Orleans has struggled in the turnover battle the whole season and they were able to get a timely one when Bradley Roby recovered London’s fumble to give the offense a chance to bleed out the clock for New Orleans to escape with a win.
New Orleans Fast Start on Offense Sets the Tone:
The offense was in need of a fast start after several weeks of being shut down by opposing defenses. New Orleans was able to strike on both drives for the first time since the 2020 season against the Vikings on Christmas Day.
New Orleans’ offense stepped on the field first to begin the game and they went on for a 10-play, 75-yard drive to go up on the Falcons early in this game. Andy Dalton would find Juwan Johnson for a 18-yard touchdown to put the Saints up 7-0. Dalton would continue his connection with Johnson that has continued to work all season. It would first be ruled to be short of the goal line, but Dennis Allen decided to throw out the challenge flag to overrule the call on the field.
After a brief review, the call would be overturned to a Saints touchdown as New Orleans was able to cap off a successful opening drive. The black and gold would continue that momentum on the next offensive possession as New Orleans found the endzone for a second time.
It only took two plays for the Saints to extend the lead to 14 after Taysom Hill threw a 68-yard strike to Rashid Shaheed. Shaheed would show off his blazing speed as the fast start was able to catapult the Saints to a win over their division rival.
Saints Defense Gashed on the Ground, but Limits Desmond Ridder Through the Air:
In their first meeting against the Falcons, Cordarrelle Patterson would be able to have success against the Saints rush defense. On the day, Atlanta finished the game with 231 total rushing yards and 89 passing yards. With Desmond Ridder named the starter, Atlanta would rely heavily on running the ball against New Orleans.
The Saints defense were able to hold Ridder in check through the air as he only had 97 passing yards on the day. New Orleans was able to create pressure to the rookie quarterback as they were able to get to him four times on the day.
The Saints were unable to stop the Falcons once again on the ground as Tyler Allgeier was able to have success against the black and gold defense. Allgeier finished the game with 17 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown. Patterson would add to that mark with 14 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown.
New Orleans was able to have success in the first half against the Falcons offense as they were only able to scratch three points against the Saints defense, but they were able to change their luck in the second half with an opening touchdown in the third quarter.