Skip to main content
New Orleans Saints

Saints News | New Orleans Saints |

New Orleans Saints cap regular season with dominant home victory over Atlanta

Saints score season-high 48 points, allow three points in final three quarters

The New Orleans Saints entered Sunday's regular-season finale hoping it wouldn't be their last showing of the season. But if it was, they saved their best for it in a 48-17 victory over Atlanta in the Caesars Superdome.

New Orleans (9-8) won four of its last five games to post its first winning season under second-year coach Dennis Allen, and it took to task an NFC South Division rival that had beaten the Saints 24-15 in their earlier meeting.

It wasn't the Saints' most decisive victory on the scoreboard; that came in a 34-0 victory over New England. But, judging by the vibe in the locker room, unequivocally it was the most satisfying one.

OFFENSE: Pretty much picture-perfect balance for the Saints in this one with 246 passing yards and 154 rushing yards, leading to a dominant edge in time of possession (33:50 to 26:10), huge red zone success (4 of 6) and a six-touchdown explosion that was the foundation to New Orleans' highest point total of the season and the most New Orleans has scored since it posted 52 in 19-point win against Minnesota on Christmas Day in 2020 (Alvin Kamara set an NFL record with six rushing touchdowns). It took a while to take root, but the last five weeks, during which quarterback Derek Carr threw 14 touchdowns and one interception, is along the lines of efficiency on offense that New Orleans has sought.

DEFENSE: Credit the unit for settling in after a start that was shaky, to say the least. New Orleans' defense allowed pass completions of 56 and 71 yards on Atlanta's first two possessions – the 71-yarder, a scoring pass from Desmond Ridder to Bijan Robinson – and the Saints fell into a 14-7 hole on the scoreboard, with the defense looking as if it wouldn't find a stop. After that, the Falcons were held to three points and 262 yards in the final 49 minutes of play. New Orleans intercepted two passes (Alontae Taylor, Tyrann Mathieu), recovered a fumble (Payton Turner), produced a stop on fourth-and-goal from the 2 and held on seven of 11 third-down attempts. And the Falcons, who ran for 228 yards and a touchdown on 41 carries in Atlanta, finished with 78 rushing yards on 25 attempts. The Saints, after a choppy first two series, were exactly the defense they needed to be Sunday.

SPECIAL TEAMS: With so much going well on offense and defense, all the special team units needed to do was not make an egregious mistake. Mission accomplished. Blake Grupe made a couple of short field goals when the offense stalled in the red zone, Lou Hedley averaged 45.8 yards per punt and the Saints allowed just 12 yards on two returns, and no debilitating penalty was committed.

Check out the game action shots from the New Orleans Saints game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 18 of the 2023 NFL season.

Related Content