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Long late reception leads to game-winning field goal against New Orleans Saints | Turning Point of the Game

Saints led 25-24 with 61 seconds left in 27-24 loss


The well wasn't dry.

It appeared to be so for Atlanta on Sunday, after the New Orleans Saints scored their 22nd point of the fourth quarter to take a 25-24 lead over the Falcons in the Caesars Superdome.

The one-point lead obviously wasn't insurmountable. But with 61 seconds left, Atlanta starting at its 25-yard line after a touchback, the Superdome crowd in a frenzy and the Falcons having failed to score on three of their four possessions in the quarter – their touchdown came on a 6-yard pass following a sack and fumble return, and the other three drives maxed out at their 39-yard line – the Saints' defense was where it wanted to be.

Until Atlanta went back to a play that the Falcons said they ran earlier in the game, a play that helped them kick the game-winning field goal as time expired in the Saints' 27-25 loss.

On first-and-10 from the 25, quarterback Matt Ryan took the shotgun snap, looked to his right and found running back Cordarrelle Patterson streaking down the right sideline, with a step on Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo.

The step was enough separation; Patterson hauled in the perfect pass at the Saints' 47-yard line, maintained his balance after Adebo's tackle attempt, and tiptoed down the sideline for another 36 yards before safety Marcus Williams could push him out of bounds at the Saints' 11.

Three plays later – after defensive end Marcus Davenport forced a fumble by running back Mike Davis on first down that Davis recovered – Younghoe Koo kicked a 29-yard field goal to end the game, as the Saints' record fell to 5-3.

Patterson said Atlanta ran the same play on its first drive; he had a 34-yard reception down the right sideline on the Falcons' third offensive play, but the Saints held defensively and forced a punt. The second time around, the play helped to produce a better result for the Falcons.

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