NFL Falcons offense explodes in win over Saints in NFL

The Atlanta Falcons capitalised on a pair of New Orleans turnovers and cruised to a 45-32 victory over the Saints in the NFL on Monday.

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The Atlanta Falcons capitalised on a pair of New Orleans turnovers and cruised to a 45-32 victory over the Saints in the NFL on Monday.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns, but also saw his streak of 305 pass attempts without an interception snapped.

Falcons linebacker Deion Jones grabbed a deflected pass and went 90 yards the other way to give the Falcons a 45-25 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta's Matt Ryan also had a big night, going 20 of 30 through the air for 240 yards and two touchdowns.

The loss was the Saints' third straight to start the season, while the Falcons are 2-1.

 

MOMENTUM-SHIFTING MUFF

The turning point may have been early in the first quarter. Following what would have been a three-and-out for Atlanta's first possession, Saints rookie De'Vante Harris ran into punt returner Tommylee Lewis. Harris got up and tried to grab the loose ball, but was popped by a Falcons player and Atlanta linebacker LaRoy Reynolds recovered the muff. 

Lewis was signalling for a fair catch, but Harris - as a gunner - collided with him while trying to block Atlanta's Taylor Gabriel. 

The Falcons scored three plays later on Tevin Coleman's two-yard run to tie the game and then scored touchdowns on their next three possessions to take a 28-17 half-time lead. 

The Falcons have now won 10 straight against the Saints when scoring 28 or more points. About the only thing that went wrong for the Falcons offense was losing wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to a shoulder injury. 

 

FREEMAN, COLEMAN DO THE DAMAGE

As much as the quarterbacks thrived on Monday, the stars of the game were Falcons running backs Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman. Coleman, a third-round pick last year, had just two career rushing touchdowns before Monday's game, but scored three times against the Saints while rushing for 42 yards on 12 carries and catching three passes for 47 yards. 

While Coleman got the touchdowns, Freeman was the workhorse, rushing for 152 yards on just 14 carries and catching a team-high five passes for 55 yards and a 13-yard touchdown.  

 

DUMB PLAY DOOMS SAINTS

"It was a significant play," Saints coach Sean Payton said of Harris running into his team-mate. "Not real smart."

 

PRAY FOR THE SAINTS

The Saints entered this season with high expectations, hoping to compete with the Falcons and Carolina Panthers in the NFC South. But, right now, it appears the Saints are wasting the twilight of Brees' career by fielding an aging defense that continues to struggle on a weekly basis. 

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