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Postgame Notes: Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints | 2023 NFL Week 18

Notes from the Saints win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 18 of the 2023 NFL season.

Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 18 of the 2023 NFL season.
Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 18 of the 2023 NFL season.

With the New Orleans Saints' victory, they finish the regular season 9-8, which is the franchise's 18th winning season and their sixth in their last seven seasons.

  • New Orleans finished the regular season with a 4-2 record in the NFC South.
  • The Saints improve their regular season record against the Falcons to 55-54. They also improve their record against the Falcons at the Caesars Superdome to 26-21.
  • New Orleans finished with their highest point total of the season and their highest since a 52-33 Christmas Day, 2020 win over Minnesota.
  • New Orleans outgained Atlanta in total net yards, 400-389. The Saints accounted for 154 rushing yards and 246 passing yards.
  • The Saints defense held the Falcons to 78 rushing yards.
  • New Orleans won the time of possession battle 33:50-26:10, including a dominant first half with a margin of 20:09 to Atlanta's 9:51.
  • The Saints had the edge in first downs, 27-14; 13 through the air, 12 on the ground and two by penalty.
  • New Orleans recorded a season-high six touchdowns in the win, a season-high four passing and two rushing.
  • The Saints offense was 4-of-6 (66.7%) in red zone touchdown scoring percentage and the defense held Atlanta's offense to 1-for-3 in the red zone, including 0-for-1 in a goal-to-go situation, making a successful second-half goal line stand.
  • New Orleans outscored Atlanta in the second half 31-0. For the regular season, New Orleans outscored opponents 91-35 in the third quarter and 126-93 in the fourth quarter.
  • Quarterback Derek Carr earned his first win over Atlanta in his fourth try. Carr opened game 6-of-6 for 60 yards and a touchdown.
  • Carr completed 78.6 percent of his passes as he was 22-of-28 for 264 yards and threw a season-high four touchdown passes.
  • Carr's second touchdown pass of the game gave him 240 career passing touchdowns and is now in sole possession at No. 30 on the NFL's all-time list, surpassing Len Dawson to finish with a career-high tying four touchdowns for the seventh time in his career and the first time since vs. Cleveland on Sept. 30, 2018, as a member of the Oakland Raiders.
  • Carr has thrown three or more touchdown passes in a game three times in 2023 and has done so in three of the last four games to finish the season with 25 scoring throws for the fourth time in his career.
  • Receiver A.T. Perry had season-highs of 53 yards and two touchdown receptions on just three catches.
  • Perry caught Carr's first touchdown pass of 18 yards to tie the score at 7 and brought in Carr's fourth touchdown pass from six yards out to make the score 41-17.
  • Perry finished with four receiving touchdowns on the season.
  • Receiver/returnerRashid Shaheed has a team-leading 1,477 all-purpose yards in 2023 after registering 81 yards Sunday.
  • Shaheed had three receptions for a team-high 65 yards and one 39-yard touchdown. He also added 16 punt return yards.
  • Shaheed hauled in Carr's third touchdown pass – a 39-yard pass that made the score 31-17, Saints.
  • Shaheed's touchdown reception was his fifth on the season to tie for the team lead with Chris Olave. Selected to the Pro Bowl as a return specialist, he tied for the team lead with six total touchdowns with running back Alvin Kamara and quarterback Taysom Hill.
  • Olave finished with three receptions as well and accounted for 56 yards and one touchdown.
  • Olave's first reception was for 14 yards on third-and-seven. That catch brought his reception total to 85, joining him with receiver Eric Martin, tight end Jimmy Graham, receiver Joe Horn, running back Reggie Bush, receiver Marques Colston and receiver Michael Thomas as the seventh Saint with 85 receptions in a season.
  • Olave brought in an acrobatic 26-yard touchdown pass to give New Orleans a 24-17 lead (Carr's second touchdown pass).
  • With Olave's touchdown catch, he set a career-best with five touchdowns in 2023, tying for the team lead with Shaheed and became the sixth Saint with 1,100 yards in a season. He finished the regular season with 1,123 receiving yards.
  • Running back Kendre Miller logged a career-day on the ground with 73 yards on 13 carries (5.6 avg.) and had a three-yard touchdown, adding a six-yard reception.
  • Miller scored his first career rushing touchdown – a second quarter three-yard run – to tie the score at 14.
  • Hill marked his fifth game with 50 or more rushing yards in 2023. He ended the day with six rushes for 51 yards. He finished the season ranked second on the team in rushing with 81 carries for 401 yards with four touchdowns
  • Hill had a total of 79 yards from scrimmage, including 28 receiving yards on four receptions, finishing the regular season with a career-high 33 grabs for 291 yards with two touchdown grabs.
  • Running back Jamaal Williams scored his first touchdown as a member of the Saints in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run, rushing for 26 yards and catching three passes for eight yards.
  • Tight end Juwan Johnson finished the with three receptions for 40 yards.
  • Kicker Blake Grupe became the club's rookie record holder with a 24-yard field goal that put the Saints ahead 17-14 with 56 seconds remaining in the first half. Grupe finished the season with 30 field goals, leading the team with 130 total points.
  • Grupe was six-of-six on extra point attempts and two-of-two on field goal attempts.
  • Guard/tackle James Hurst played in his 150th regular season game.
  • The New Orleans defense forced three turnovers, all in the second half and the offense did not turn the ball over. The Saints had two interceptions and recovered one fumble. They finished the regular season with 29 takeaways and a +11 takeaway ratio after finishing -11 in 2022.
  • The Saints finished with 18 interceptions this season and Sunday was the fifth game in 2023 the Saints have had multiple interceptions in a game. New Orleans had only seven picks in 2022.
  • Defensive end Cameron Jordan played in his 209th regular season game Sunday, putting him a tie for 33rd all-time among NFL defensive linemen with Pro Football Hall of Fame lineman Randy White.
  • Linebacker Demario Davis tied for the team-high with nine tackles, including five solo stops and two tackles for loss.
  • Safety Johnathan Abram set a season-high with nine tackles Sunday. He logged his previous season-high five tackles in the first half.
  • Safety Tyrann Mathieu registered his 40th career takeaway, returning a fourth quarter interception 74 yards. It is the longest interception return of his career.
  • Mathieu also added three tackles in the game.
  • Cornerback Alontae Taylor grabbed his second career interception, happening in the second consecutive week. Taylor returned the interception 16 yards to the Atlanta 25-yard line on the first possession of the second half Sunday.
  • Cornerback Paulson Adebo and safety Ugo Amadi each tallied seven tackles. It was a season high for Amadi.
  • Defensive end Payton Turner, who was playing in his first contest since Week One, having spent 16 weeks on Injured Reserve recovering from a toe injury, recovered a fumble on an errant snap at the Atlanta 10-yard line. Turner also had two QB hurries.
  • Defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd tallied his third sack of the season and was the lone sack in the game for the Saints.

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