The New Orleans Saints take on the Atlanta Falcons at the Caesars Superdome in Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season.
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints 27-25 on a last-second field goal Sunday, Nov. 7 at Caesars Superdome to end the Saints' three-game winning streak.
The Saints had just rallied from a 18-point deficit to grab a 25-24 lead when Atlanta took over at its 25-yard line with a minute to play. Quarterback Matt Ryan hit running back Cordarrelle Patterson down the right sideline for 64 yards putting the Falcons in position for the winning 29-yard kick by Younghoo Koo.
The Saints are 5-3, one game behind the idle Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2), while the Falcons improved to 4-4.
"Obviously, tough way to lose the game," Coach Sean Payton said. "Tip your hat to Atlanta, they played better than us today."
Ryan had a strong performance, going 23 for 30 for 343 yards with two touchdown passes and one touchdown run.
Saints quarterback Trevor Siemian struggled early in his first game as starter for the Saints, but rallied in the fourth quarter to put his team in position to win. "He played with poise, brought us back," Payton said. "We dropped some balls, more than our fair share."
Said Siemian: "First half, we've got to be better."
The Saints' rally started with a 52-yard Brian Johnson field goal and then picked up steam with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Siemian to receiver Marquez Callaway. Running back Alvin Kamara made it a one-score game with his 2-yard touchdown run with 4:35 to play.
The defense then picked up its play with pressure on Ryan and sacks from Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport which forced Atlanta to punt, giving New Orleans good field position. Siemian and the offense went to work and scored on a tremendous 8-yard touchdown pass to receiver Kenny Stills with 1:01 to play. But then Ryan hit Patterson with the deep pass and Atlanta ran out the clock to set up the winning kick.
Siemian finished 25 of 41 for 249 yards with two touchdown passes. Kamara had 13 carries for 50 yards and four receptions for 54 yards while running back Mark Ingram II had nine carries for 43 yards. Deonte Harty was the top receiver with six catches for 52 yards.
Siemian, in his sixth season out of Northwestern, was named the Saints' starting quarterback Friday following the season-ending injury to quarterback Jameis Winston in last week's win over Tampa. It was his first start since 2019 and the offense struggled to put drives together in the first three quarters.
The Saints' defense, the strength of the team this season, gave up several chunk plays to Atlanta, including a 49-yard completion, a 39-yard completion and a 34-yard completion. The back-breaker was the 64-yard pass to Patterson to set up the winning field goal. Penalties were another issue as the Saints had 10 accepted for 74 yards.
Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson left in the second quarter with an injury and defensive end Payton Turner left the field with nine seconds to play in the first half.
New Orleans will travel to Nashville to play the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Nov. 14. The Saints don't play at Caesars Superdome again until the Thanksgiving night game against the Buffalo Bills.
Saints fans get ready at Champions Square as the New Orleans Saints take on the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9 on November 7, 2021 at the Caesar's Superdome.