Absolutely, the New Orleans Saints' lead was tenuous.
For the most part, New Orleans statistically had dominated Atlanta in the first half of Sunday's game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – except on the scoreboard.
The Saints' 6-0 lead wasn't indicative of the on-field play and, worse, when the Falcons took possession at their 25-yard line with 79 seconds left in the half, Atlanta possibly was a few plays away from attempting to slice New Orleans' lead in half with a field goal, or outright take the lead courtesy of a quick-strike touchdown drive.
A 23-yard completion from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones on first down took Atlanta to its 48. From there, Ryan threw two incompletions before the Saints changed the complexion of the game – or, more specifically, before rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore came up with a play that will live in New Orleans lore.
On third-and-10, Ryan's pass intended for receiver Marvin Hall on a deep crossing route, from left to right, was on target. But Hall didn't cleanly snag the pass. In fact, he tipped it up in the air and ran past it, with Lattimore in close pursuit – close enough that he was able to make a play on the ball.
Well, close enough to that his butt and legs were able to make a play.
The tipped pass landed on Lattimore's back and rolled to his butt, and legs, while teammates Marcus Williams and Craig Robertson made attempts to pluck it off his body before it touched the turf. Neither succeeded, but Lattimore somehow pinned the ball to his body before rolling over, and secured it for his team-leading fifth interception, giving the Saints possession at their 36-yard line, with 50 seconds left in the half.
Pandemonium ensued in the Superdome, but not so much that the Saints' offense was too discombobulated to take advantage of the gift.
After an Alvin Kamara run for no gain and a Drew Brees pass to Kamara for 10 yards, Brees threw a perfect pass to Ted Ginn Jr. on a deep right route, with Ginn toasting a defender and running the final 24 yards untouched to the end zone with 14 seconds left in the half.
The Saints led 13-0, rather than 6-3 or even trailing 7-6 if Atlanta had been able to construct a touchdown drive. And the Saints had retaken the momentum on a 1-2 punch that ignited their 23-13 victory that allowed them to remain atop the NFC South Division standings.