Story by Brad Friedman*
After the Atlanta Falcons sprinted out to a 14-0 in the first, the Saints never fully recovered, eventually leading to a 31-17 loss.
Both of Atlanta's first quarter scoring drives, with a Drew Brees interception sandwiched in-between them, concluded with Aldrick Robinson receiving touchdowns. They came from 43 and seven yards out, contributing to his six-catch, 106-yard game.
New Orleans cut Atlanta's lead to four in the second. A seven-play drive to open the quarter ended with Drew Brees finding Willie Snead from 11 yards out. After an Atlanta three-and-out, another lengthy drive resulted in a Wil Lutz 40-yard field goal. New Orleans carried momentum into the locker room, but it was quickly lost on the other side of the break.
A Mark Ingram fumble on New Orleans's opening drive gifted Atlanta prime field position and it took advantage. Matt Ryan launched his third touchdown of the game, a 24-yard strike to Julio Jones, to grow Atlanta's lead. Matt Bryant then booted a 30-yard field goal to put Atlanta ahead 24-10.
New Orleans responded quickly when Willie Snead caught his second touchdown, a 15-yarder, but Devonta Freeman's 3-yard touchdown quickly extinguished New Orleans's touchdown hopes.