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New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons: Notebook

With losses by Carolina and Tampa Bay, New Orleans is the only 1-0 team in the NFC South.


  • The New Orleans Saints won on opening day for the first time since 2010 and for the first time in seven season-opening meetings with Atlanta. With losses by Carolina and Tampa Bay, New Orleans is the only 1-0 team in the NFC South.
  • New Orleans is now 17-30 in season openers. Sunday marked the 33rd time in the 47-year history of the franchise the Saints have opened at home.
  • QB Drew Brees completed 26 of 35 passes for 357 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He had a final passer rating of 113.6. It is the 41st time since Brees arrived in New Orleans in 2006 that he has had a passer rating of 110.0 or higher; the Saints are 35-6 in those games.
  • Brees' multiple-touchdown pass game was the 100th of his career. He is the sixth player in NFL history to have 100 games of two or more touchdown passes, joining Brett Favre (159), Peyton Manning (136), Dan Marino (127), Tom Brady (108, including Sunday) and Fran Tarkenton (101).
  • Brees completed at least 20 passes for the 53rd consecutive game, extending his own NFL record, and topped the 200-yard passing mark for the 33rd straight game.
  • Brees extended his own NFL record for most games of 350 or more yards passing with his 36th such performance. He passed for 300 or more yards for the 68th time in his career; only Peyton Manning (73) has more 300-yard games in NFL history.
  • Brees' 300-yard passing game was the fifth such performance of his career in Week 1, tied for the second-most in NFL history. Only Kurt Warner, with six 300-yard games on opening day, has more. All of Brees' opening day 300-yard performances have come since 2008.
  • WR Marques Colstonhad five catches for 68 yards and a TD. Colston's first catch of the afternoon – a 25-yard TD reception from Brees with 9:10 remaining in the second quarter – was his 533rd career reception, breaking a tie with Eric Martin to give him sole possession of first place on the team's career reception list.
  • The TD reception by Colston was the 59th of his career, extending his own franchise records for total touchdowns and TD catches.
  • On the TD pass to Colston, Brees also became the eighth quarterback in NFL history to surpass 46,000 career passing yards. In the fourth quarter, Brees moved past Vinny Testaverde into seventh place on the NFL career passing yards list. Brees now has 46,276 career passing yards.
  • WR Lance Moore moved into sole possession of fourth place on the franchise's career reception list with a 16-yard reception from Brees on the Saints' first play from scrimmage.
  • Rookie WR Kenny Stillshad two receptions for 86 yards in his first NFL game. Stills' first career reception went for 67 yards. Only once in 2012 did the Saints have a longer play from scrimmage – an 80-yard touchdown reception by Joseph Morgan at Green Bay.
  • RB/KR Darren Sproles had 140 all-purpose yards, including team highs of 88 yards receiving on six receptions. Sproles also had 22 yards rushing and an additional 30 yards on returns.
  • The safety tandem of Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper combined for the first Saints takeaway. Jenkins forced a Julio Jones fumble and Harper recovered.
  • For Harper, who became the 49th player in franchise history to play in 100 career games on Sunday, it was only his third career fumble recovery; he does, however, have 13 career forced fumbles.
  • Harper clinched the win with a fourth-down interception in the end zone with 43 seconds remaining, his seventh career interception.
  • Jenkins finished with a team-high six combined tackles, including four solo stops.
  • OLB Parys Haralson and DE Akiem Hicks each recorded their first sacks in a Saints uniform in the third quarter. OLB Junior Galette had a sack in the second quarter.
  • K Garrett Hartley went 3-for-3 on field goals, including a 48-yard boot in his first attempt of 2013. Hartley finished 2012 by making 11 of his last 12 attempts, including a season-long 53-yarder in the season finale vs. Carolina.
  • With 11 points scored on Sunday, Hartley passed Dalton Hilliard to move into sixth place in Saints franchise history. Hartley now has scored 326 points in his career.
  • The Saints ate 6:12 off the clock on a fourth-quarter drive that ended in Hartley's third field goal of the day. Only once last year did the Saints have a scoring drive of more than six minutes – coincidentally, also against the Falcons and also ending in a Hartley field goal.
  • Thanks in part to the fourth-quarter drive and two other scoring drives of at least 5:00, the Saints controlled the ball for 35:11 on Sunday. Only once (41:59 in an overtime win at Dallas) did New Orleans have a higher time of possession in 2012.
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