Check out the Saints battle the Falcons in their final game of the 2016 season.
The situation went from bad to worse for the New Orleans Saints defensively in a matter of two offensive plays by Atlanta on Sunday in the Falcons' 38-32 victory in the final regular-season game at the Georgia Dome.
Bad, as in Atlanta's opening drive, a four-play, 68-yard blitz that lasted just 2:11 and gave the Falcons a 7-0 lead on Matt Ryan's7-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Coleman. The drive followed a three-and-out possession by the Saints on the opening drive of the game.
Then worse, because after the Saints responded with a methodical, time-consuming march of their own – Wil Lutz's19-yard field goal capped the 15-play, 74-yard possession that lasted 8:02, but it nearly was a touchdown drive; Coby Fleener's1-yard reception from Drew Breeswas overturned on replay – the Falcons were even quicker and more efficient on their next possession.
On first down after the touchback, Atlanta running back Devonta Freemantook a handoff from Ryan, searched for room to the left, then shifted back to the right side. There, he found an opening and took advantage. Seventy-five yards later, after a foot chase down the right sideline from Saints cornerback Sterling Moore, Freeman was in the end zone on a jaunt that lasted 11 seconds, and gave Atlanta a 14-3 lead.
New Orleans was playing catch-up from there, cutting the deficit to 14-10 on a 2-yard touchdown run by Tim Hightower, but then watching the lead expand to 21-10 and 28-10 on Ryan touchdown passes to Julio Jonesand Mohamed Sanu. The quick-strike drives had helped put the Saints in an unenviable position, one that even a 19-point fourth quarter was unable to rescue them from.