Falcons Halt Slide by Notching Win Against Saints

The Falcons, back from a much-needed bye week, returned to Mercedes Benz Stadium today looking like that break did them some good.

Today, the Falcons paid homage to hip hop’s 50th anniversary by spotlighting Atlanta’s homegrown hip hop stars like Big Boi, Quavo, Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris (who came down from the rafters to the field in his performance), T.I and more, and the NFL team hosting the celebration needed to prove they were back on point after three wack losses.

This game may not have been so fresh, so clean, but they did get a much-needed win against the hated New Orleans Saints, 24-15.

This win improves the Dirty Birds’ record to 5-6 and returns the team to the top of the NFC South. Life is less gloomy in Flowery Branch thanks to today’s victory.

Falcons starting quarterback Desmond Ridder, back in his first complete game in three weeks, went 13 of 21 for 168 yards and a touchdown. That was good. What was bad was he threw two pick-sixes, including one in the red zone, so turnovers remained a problem for him. The Saints Derek Carr went 24 of 38, for 304 yards and one interception. The Falcons defense kept the Saints from marching into Atlanta’s red zone, forcing them to five field goals.

Falcons offense had a good day. Bijan Robinson got 16 carries for 91 yards and a 10-yard rushing touchdown. Robinson also took a 26-yard pass from Ridder into the endzone in the 4th quarter. But the 92-yard interception return by Jessie Bates III for a Falcons TD in the 1st quarter got the crowd as amped up as they were during the hip-hop performances that took the field during time-outs. Drake London got 5 receptions for 91 rushing yards. Tyler Allgeier got 64 rush yards from 10 carries. Cordarrelle Patterson got 8 carries for 43 rush yards.

The Falcons even managed to take down Carr in the 3rd quarter, thanks to an Arnold Ebiketie sack.

It was an all-hands-on-deck teamwork that brought in the win.

“That was encouraging. That’s who we need to be to close out games,” said Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, savoring the much-needed win at an after-game press conference. “It’s just one game, but we needed that win in the worst way.”

Coach Smith wasn’t the only one giving thanks for a W.

“This week was huge as a team as a whole, just go out there and get a win,” said Ridder at the press conference. “That’s what we did, came out here and played as a team. Both offense, defense, and special teams…We are pretty happy because we came out with a win.”

The Falcons look to keep the momentum going by defeating the Aaron Rodgers-less 4-7 New York Jets at MetLife Stadium next Sunday.

Note: Falcons offensive lineman Jake Matthews now holds the record for most consecutive starts in franchise history, at 155.

by Brian Allen, founding editor, Sports In The ATL

BY THE NUMBERS Atlanta Falcons (5-6) 24 ✅ New Orleans Saints (5-6) 15
Score trend 7-7-0-10 3-6-3-3
Total Yards 396 444
Pass Yards 168 296
Rush Yards 228 148
First Downs 25 22
Third Down Conversions 4/8 6/14
Penalties/Yards 5/35 6/50
Turnovers 2 (1 Fum., 1 Int) 2 (2 int.)
Time Possession 28:26 31:34