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Turning Point of the Game

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Empty red-zone trips plagued New Orleans Saints on Sunday against Atlanta

Check out photos of the on-field action between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons in Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season.
Check out photos of the on-field action between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons in Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season.

Usually, we'll give you one definitive moment as a pivotal play for the New Orleans Saints. But for Sunday's 26-9 loss to Atlanta in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, two drives will give a better indication of where, and how, it went most wrong for New Orleans (7-2), which had its six-game winning streak snapped.

The first happened during New Orleans' first drive, after the Falcons took a 3-0 lead on the opening drive.

The Saints cleanly drove from their 25-yard line to the Falcons' 5 in six plays, before the drive fizzled. Latavius Murray was tackled for no gain on a first-down run, Drew Brees completed a 3-yard pass to Taysom Hill on second down, and then Brees was sacked for a nine-yard loss on third down to force New Orleans to settle for Wil Lutz' 29-yard field goal.

Four-point swing; rather than a 7-3 lead, a 3-3 tie.

Fast forward to the third quarter and for the Saints, unfortunately, they had a similar result.

Trailing 13-6, and beginning the drive at the Falcons' 38-yard line after Deonte Harris' 19-yard punt return, New Orleans drove to the 10 in five plays to set up first-and-goal.

But on first down Brees threw incomplete for Alvin Kamara and on second down, he was sacked for a six-yard loss. A third-down completion to Murray gained six, but again Lutz was needed to kick a chip-shot field goal from 28 yards.

Again, four-point swing; rather than a tie at 13-13, a deficit of 13-9.

Eight points left on the field during those two drives, eight points that would have given New Orleans a lead to work with.

All told, the Saints were kept out of the end zone on three red-zone opportunities, and touchdown-less three times with goal to go. Those empty possessions were significant to Sunday's loss.

Check out photos of the on-field action between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons in Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season.

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