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Saints vs Falcons Game Preview | 2021 NFL Week 9

Atlanta leads the overall series 52-51, but New Orleans has a 21-9 advantage over the Falcons since Head Coach Sean Payton was hired in 2006.



The Saints play at home against an NFC South opponent for the second consecutive week to take on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday with 5-2 New Orleans having an opportunity to move into a first place tie with 6-2 Tampa Bay, who are idle this weekend.

On Sunday, New Orleans will look to continue to make their move in a competitive NFC South against the Falcons (3-4), who fell to the Carolina Panthers 19-13 on Sunday. Atlanta leads the overall series 52-51, but New Orleans has a 21-9 advantage over the Falcons since Head Coach Sean Payton was hired in 2006.


Atlanta leads the regular season series, 52-51, with New Orleans holding an 21-9 advantage over the Falcons since 2006. Since 1991, 33 games have been decided by eight points or less. The Falcons had a 10-game winning streak from 1995-99, which remains the Saints' longest winless streak against an opponent. New Orleans took 13-of-16 in the rivalry from 1986-94 and Atlanta won nine-straight over the fledgling Saints from 1969-73. Atlanta's most recent mastery over a five-year period ended with a 21-19 win for New Orleans at the Georgia Dome on Nov. 22, 2000. Eight games in the series have gone into overtime.

In the 103 regular season games of the series there has been:

  • 2,178 points scored by New Orleans, 2,279 allowed.
  • A ten-game Atlanta winning streak from 1995-99.
  • A six-game win streak for New Orleans from 1986-89.
  • 44 games decided by double-digits.
  • 17 games decided by 21 or more points.
  • 51 games decided by seven points or less.
  • 3 games decided by one point.
  • A 38-point win by Saints (11/1/87) - Biggest Saints win.
  • A 55-point loss by Saints (9/16/73) - Biggest Saints loss.
  • Four shutouts - Two by each club, the most recent a 38-0 win in Atlanta on 11/1/87.
  • Eight overtime games— four wins by each club.
  • Six Monday night games, two Sunday night games and eight Thursday night games, including Thanksgiving night in 2018 and 2019.


New Orleans Saints 21, Atlanta Falcons 16, December 6, 2020 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Saints quarterback Taysom Hill finally threw a touchdown pass. Two of them, in fact. The New Orleans defense finally gave up a touchdown.

But not two, which ensured the Saints are headed back to the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. Hill won another start filling in for injured Drew Brees and New Orleans got the big defensive stop it needed in the closing minutes to preserve a 21-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

The Saints (10-2) clinched a playoff berth with their ninth straight victory and Chicago's 34-30 loss to Detroit.

Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons matchup in Week 13 of the 2020 NFL season.

Hill was 27 of 37 for 232 yards passing. He tacked on 83 yards rushing on 14 carries, including a 43-yard scamper that was the longest run of his career, setting up his first TD pass.

"I thought his performance was strong," coach Sean Payton said. "He made a lot of throws."


Saints' Largest Margin of Victory:

38 points, Saints won 38-0 on 11/01/87 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

Falcons' Largest Margin of Victory:

55 points, Falcons won 62-7 on 09/16/73 at Tulane Stadium.

Current Series Streak:

Saints have won three straight,11/28/19-.

Saints' Longest Win Streak:

Six games, 12/14/86-11/19/89.

Falcons' Longest Win Streak:

Ten games, 9/17/95-12/05/99.

Most Points by Saints in a Game:

45 points (twice), most recent, Saints won 45-16 on 12/26/11 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Most Points by Falcons in a Game:

62 points, Falcons won 62-7 on 9/16/73 at Tulane Stadium.

Most Combined Points (Both Teams):

80 points, Saints won 43-37 on 9/23/18 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Fewest Points by Saints in a Game:

0 points (twice), most recent, Falcons won 27-0 on 09/06/81 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

Fewest Points by Falcons in a Game:

Zero points (twice), last, Saints won 30-0, 10/10/76 at Superdome.

Fewest Combined Points (Both Teams):

16 points, Saints won 13-3 on 10/20/74 at Atlanta Stadium.


ATLANTA -- The Falcons had won two straight games entering Sunday's game against Carolina. The Panthers had lost their last four.

Teams trending in opposite directions clashed on Halloween at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in an important NFC South matchup.

Those trends didn't continue, with the Panthers eventually securing a 19-13 victory.

They weren't solid throwing the football for most of the game. They played without Calvin Ridley, who was inactive due to a personal matter. Quarterback Matt Ryan's non-throwing hand got stepped on, which cause his hand to bleed during the second quarter. He threw an interception shortly after that happened, ending a promising drive. The Falcons weren't able to sustain drives and the Panthers were, leading to the ultimate outcome.

Rough day for Falcons run defense

There was too much room to run, both inside the tackles and on stretch runs. The Falcons ended up allowing 203 yards on 47 carries. As a result, Carolina had the ball for more than 35 minutes. Those numbers aren't good and need to be better in games down the line.


New Orleans fell behind 7-0 midway through the first quarter. But the Saints quickly found life, scoring 23 straight points even as they lost QB Jameis Winston in the second quarter with what turns out to be a season-ending knee injury. The Saints left the first half with a 16-7 lead on one touchdown throw apiece by Winston and his replacement Trevor Siemian and a field goal, powered defensively by two forced turnovers of Buccaneers QB Tom Brady.

With New Orleans receiving the ball first out of halftime, Siemian engineered a ten-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a one-yard rushing touchdown by RB Alvin Kamara. New Orleans would then have to withstand a 14-point Tampa Bay surge powered by a pair of Brady touchdown passes.

The New Orleans Saints take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Caesars Superdome in Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season.

Following return to play, New Orleans then had their first stop of the second half early in the fourth quarter as the Buccaneers were set back by a ten-yard offensive holding penalty. New Orleans then took advantage of two Tampa Bay defensive penalties to allow K Brian Johnson to boot a 35-yard field goal. A quick 50-yard scoring connection between Brady and Buccaneers WR Cyril Grayson put Tampa Bay up 27-26, with Saints LB Kwon Alexander, a former Buc, keeping WR Chris Godwin out of the end zone on a two-point conversion rushing attempt.

New Orleans then had a ten-point surge in them to take back the contest. Siemian engineered a 12-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard Johnson field goal with 1:41 left to put the Saints up 29-27. Two plays from scrimmage later, DB P.J. Williams picked off a Brady pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown with sacks by Alexander and DE Tanoh Kpassagnon sealing the emotional win.


League Rankings

Table inside Article
Saints Falcons
Record 5-2 3-4
Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank) 25.1 (13) 21.1 (21)
Opp. Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank) 18.3 (4) 27.9 (25)
Total Off. (NFL Rank) 305.9 (29) 334.0(23)
Rushing Off. (NFL Rank) 125.0 (9) 87.0 (27)
Passing Off. (NFL Rank) 180.9 (10) 247.0(17)
Total Def. (NFL Rank) 344.3 (10) 358.3 (16)
Rushing Def. (NFL Rank) 79.4 (2) 125.1 (24)
Passing Def. (NFL Rank) 264.9 (22) 233.1 (12)
Kickoff Return Avg. (NFL Rank) 27.5 (1) 19.8 (24)
Punt Return Avg. (NFL Rank) 11.3 (6) 7.8 (20)
Turnover Margin (NFL Rank) +7 (4) -4 (23t)
Penalties 39 39
Penalty Yards 346 322
Opp. Penalties 39 58
Opp. Penalty Yards 326 488

Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons matchup in Week 11 of the 2020 NFL season.