Saints clinch divisional title with win over Falcons
Atlanta, Ga. — The Saints held a 17-point lead with under 4 minutes to play, when the Falcons made things interesting. Russell Gage scored a touchdown and they cut it to 26-15 after a failed two-point conversion. Atlanta recovered their onside kick and then scored a field goal with 1:56 to play and recovered a second onside kick. It came down to 4th and 8 with 44 seconds to play, when Cam Jordan ended their comeback hopes with his 4th sack of the game. The Saints defense finished with 9 sacks and forced 3 turnovers in their 26-18 win over the Falcons.
Aside from the wild final few minutes, the first half was all about Taysom Hill, who showed yet again why he’s earned the nickname as the Saints’ “Swiss Army Knife.” First on special teams, he got a piece of the Falcons punt on their opening possession to give his team the short field at the Atlanta 30. Four plays later, Drew Brees got him a quick pass and he was in for a 3-yard touchdown for the Saints first score of the game. Then in the second quarter, Hill scored the Saints only other touchdown of the game, coming on a direct snap that he ran-in from 30 yards out to make it 17-6. From there, Wil Lutz kicked three field goals (47,42 and 45) to push their lead to 26-9. Lutz finished the game 4-4 FG and 2-2 on extra points, having another significant impact on the outcome of the game.
Drew Brees, who surpassed the 10,000 career pass attempts milestone in the game, finished 18-30 for 184 yards and a touchdown. He wasn’t sacked at all and didn’t throw any interceptions. On the season he now has 12 touchdown passes to just 4 picks. Alvin Kamara led the rush attack with 61 yards on 11 carries, while Jared Cook led the receiving stats with 85 yards on 3 catches. Michael Thomas’s 5-game streak of 100+ receiving yards came to an end, as he was held to a season-low 48 yards on 6 catches.
The Saints (10-2) now have some time to recover and prepare for their toughest test of the season when they host the 49ers (10-1) on Sunday, December 8.