Saints Beat Falcons, 31-17 for Tenth Straight Win
Drew Brees threw four touchdown passes and the New Orleans Saints' defense forced three turnovers as New Orleans completed a season sweep over their arch-rival Atlanta Falcons
Brees completed 15-22 passes for 171 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram combined for 141 yards on 25 carries.
Meanwhile, the Saints' defense intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles. They also sacked Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan six times. The defense allowed Atlanta just 26 yards rushing.
The Saints drove 75 yards after the opening kickoff and scored on a 28 yard touchdown pass from Brees to TommyLee Lewis to take an early 7-0 lead. Atlanta drove into the red zone but Matt Ryan fumbled after being sacked by Marshon Williams. The Saints, however, turned it right back over when Brees was intercepted for just the second time all season, resulting in a Matt Ryan field goal to make the score 7-3.
The Saints then drove 71 yards on 15 plays, but the drive stalled at the 2 and New Orleans settled for a 22 yard field goal by Wil Lutz to give the Saints a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter. After the Saints' defense forced a three and out, New Orleans took over at their own 42 and the Saints marched downfield and scored on a 12 yard pass from Brees to a wide open Austin Carr to increase the lead to 17-3.
Atlanta had one more possession in the first half and drove into Saints' territory, but Julio Jones fumbled after being hit by Alex Anzalone and Vonn Bell recovered at the Saints' 13 and New Orleans took a 17-3 lead into the locker room.
On their second possession of the second half, the Saints drove 70 yards in six plays with Brees throwing his third touchdown pass of the night, this one to Dan Arnold from 25 yards out to give New Orleans a 24-3 lead. But Atlanta responded with a 13-play, 75 yard drive with Ryan finding Calvin Ridley in the back of the end zone on fourth down from the two yard line, cutting the Saints' lead to 24-10 with just seconds remaining in the third quarter.
On the Falcons next possession, A. J. Klein intercepted Ryan and returned it to the Atlanta 22. Five plays later Brees threw a five yard touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood to make it a three touchdown game.
It looked as though the Falcons were going to get closer when Ryan hit Calvin Ridley for 18 yards. But Marshon Lattimore stripped Ridley of the ball at the one yard line and Eli Apple recovered to end the threat. But Atlanta got the ball back after a Saints' punt and scored when Ryan hit Tevin Coleman with a short touchdown pass for the final margin.
New Orleans (10-1) faces the Dallas Cowboys next Thursday night.