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Notes from New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons game

With the 26-9 loss Sunday, Nov. 10, the New Orleans Saints fall to 7-2 and see their winning streak snapped at six games. The loss is New Orleans’ first home loss of the season, as its 2019 record at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome falls to 4-1. New Orleans returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 17 when it takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.

The loss is New Orleans’ first loss at home to Atlanta since the 2016 season and snaps a Saints’ three-game winning streak against the Falcons.

With the loss, New Orleans’ all-time regular season record against the Falcons drops to 48-52 and its record vs. Atlanta drops to 23-20 in games played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

With the loss, Coach Sean Payton’s record against Atlanta falls to 17-9 in the regular season and 9-4 in home games against the Falcons. Payton’s record against Atlanta Coach Dan Quinn falls to 5-4.

Offensively, New Orleans finished with 258 net passing yards and was held to a season-low 52 rushing yards on 11 carries (4.7 avg.). The Saints possessed the ball for 26:14, the team’s lowest time of possession total this season and were held to a season-low 25 percent third down conversion percentage (3-of-12). New Orleans was also held without a touchdown for the third time this season.

Defensively, the Saints held Atlanta to a season-low 174 passing yards. On the ground, New Orleans held Falcons running back Brian Hill to 61 yards on 20 carries and running back Devonta Freeman to 38 yards on 10 carries and have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 35 consecutive games, including postseason play.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees appeared in his 268th career game, moving him into a tie with former Chargers teammate Junior Seau for 25th on the NFL’s all-time games played list. Brees finished 32-of-45 for 287 yards and was sacked six times.

In his 56th career game, wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded 152 receiving yards on 13 receptions. He surpassed Odell Beckham Jr. (61 games) as the fastest player in NFL history to record 400 receptions with a seven-yard grab with :48 remaining in the second quarter. Thomas recorded his 401st career reception with 13:10 to play in the third quarter, surpassing Jarvis Landry (400 receptions) for the most grabs in a player’s first four seasons. He now has 408 receptions in his career and an NFL-best 86 in 2019.

Thomas increased his season total to 1,027 receiving yards and has now surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his first four seasons in the NFL.

Thomas recorded his third consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards, and had the 14th 100-yard receiving game of his career, surpassing tight end Jimmy Graham (2010-14) for fourth in club record books. Thomas has also recorded double digit receptions in seven of the Saints’ nine games this season.

In his first game since Week 6 at Jacksonville, tight end Jared Cook finished with six receptions for 74 yards, both season highs. Cook has caught a pass in each game he has played this season.

With his four-yard carry with 13:52 to play in the third quarter, running back Alvin Kamara became the 14th Saint to surpass 2,000 rushing yards for his career. Kamara finished with four carries for 24 yards (moving his career total to 2,008 rushing yards) and added eight receptions for 50 yards.

Quarterback Taysom Hill recorded a completion, reception, and rushing attempt in the same game for the third time in his career and the first time since Oct/ 28, 2018 at Minnesota. Hill finished with one completion for 17 yards, one three-yard reception, and one rush for 11 yards.

Receiver Tre’Quan Smith recorded his first reception since recording three in a Week 2 loss at the Los Angeles Rams. Smith finished with 13 yards on the one catch.

Receiver Ted Ginn Jr. was targeted three times in his 180th career game and was held without a reception for the first time in 2019. Ginn stands at 399 career receptions and will reach 400 with his next catch.

Safety Marcus Williams recorded his team-leading third interception of the season, picking off Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan with 4:11 to play in the fourth quarter. Williams finished with seven tackles, a career-high four passes defensed, and the one interception.

Linebacker Demario Davis recorded his first sack of the 2019 season and finished with a team-leading 11 tackles. Davis added two quarterback hits and one pass defense.

Defensive end Cameron Jordan recorded two tackles and one quarterback hit in his 137th career game. His 137 games played is good for sole possession of 21st place on the Saints all-time games list, breaking a tie with S Tommy Myers.

Linebackers AJ Klein and Kiko Alonso recorded seven and six tackles, respectively. Klein added a tackle for loss and Alonso added a quarterback hit.

Kicker Wil Lutz converted field goal attempts of 29, 47, and 28 yards. Lutz is now 14-for-14 on field goal attempts against Atlanta for his career.

The Saints scored on their opening drive of the game for the first time in the 2019 season. Lutz converted a 29-yard field goal that capped off a Saints 10-play, 64-yard first quarter drive.

Safety Vonn Bell tied a season-high with seven tackles, moving his season total to 43 tackles.

Punter Thomas Morstead tallied four punts, averaging 48.0 yards per punt, downing two inside Atlanta’s 20-yard line, and a long punt of 51 yards.

Receiver Deonte Harris made an impact in the return game, recording a 46-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter and a 19-yard punt return in the third quarter.

The Saints extended their streak to 281 regular season games without having been shutout. The streak dates to a 26-20 victory at Tampa Bay on September 6, 2002 and is the longest running streak in the NFL and fourth longest streak all-time.

Sunday’s attendance of 73,283 is the highest attendance at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this season.

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