With starting quarterback Taysom Hill on the sideline with an injury, backup Trevor Siemian entered the second quarter of Sunday's must-win game against Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and threw a beautiful 13-yard touchdown pass to Tre'Quan Smith in the left corner of the end zone.
The touchdown helped power the Saints a 24-6 halftime lead. If New Orleans (8-8) holds onto win and the Los Angeles Rams hold onto their 17-3 lead and defeat the San Francisco 49ers (9-7), the Saints will make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season as the No. 7 seed.
Hill left the game after a short run and went to the locker room carrying his left shoe. He was seven of nine for 107 yards with an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Adam Trautman on the team's opening possession. It was the first time the Saints scored a touchdown on their opening possession this season. Running back Alvin Kamara had a strong opening half, carrying 13 times for 75 yards.
The defense held Atlanta (7-9) to two Younghoe Koo field goals (48 and 54 yards). Defensive lineman David Onyemata and Marcus Davenport shared a sack and rookie cornerback Paulson Adebo intercepted Matt Ryan in the second quarter which led to a 37-yard Brett Maher field goal with 1:03 to play.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins forced a fumble on the next Atlanta possession which New Orleans recovered at the 11-yard line and led to a Siemian 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Juwan Johnson. Siemian was four of seven for 22 yards and two touchdowns.
The New Orleans Saints take on the Atlanta Falcons in Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season on January 9, 2022.