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Game recap: Atlanta Falcons 45, New Orleans Saints 32

Saints fall to 0-3

Check out the action on the field between the Saints and Falcons.

A beat-up New Orleans Saints defense couldn't slow down the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Saints lost 45-32, their third consecutive loss to open the season.

The defense got off to a promising start, sacking Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan to force a punt. But things took a turn for the worse when blocker De'Vante Harris ran into returner Tommylee Lewis as he was attempting to field the punt. Harris tried to field the ball, fumbled and the Falcons recovered at the 11. They quickly scored and scored on their next five possessions (four touchdowns and a field goal) and the Sants offense just couldn't keep up.

Things weren't helped when New Orleans native Deion Jones picked off a deflected Drew Brees pass and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The pick-six ended a streak of 305 passes without an interception for Brees.

The Saints had no problems moving the ball on the Falcons (2-1) as Brees finished 36 for 54 for 376 yards with three touchdowns. Running back Mark Ingram also had a strong game with 15 carries for 77 yards but the Saints had to moved away from the run in the second half. Brandon Coleman had his best game as a Saint with seven catches for 78 yards, tight end Coby Fleener had seven catches for 109 yards and his first touchdown as a Saint and rookie Michael Thomas had seven catches for 71 yards and his first NFL touchdown.

Rookie kicker Wil Litz also made a 57-yarder at the end of the first half, tied for third-longest in franchise history.

The Saints entered the game with six starters on the inactive list and the defense was especially beat up missing safety Kenny Vaccaro, cornerback Delvin Breaux, defensive tackle Tyeler Davison and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (plus cornerback P.J. Williams was placed on injured reserve last week and first-round draft pick has been out with a broken leg).

The Saints held star Atlanta receiver Julio Jones in check (one catch for 16 yards) but Ryan had plenty of time and was able to pick his targets. Running backs Devonta Freeman (152 yards rushing, 55 yards receiving, one TD) and Tevin Coleman (47 yards receiving, 42 rushing, three TDs) both had big games for Atlanta.

The Saints will try to get their first win of the season Sunday at the San Diego Chargers (1-2).

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