Drew Brees, after one of his three TD passes (USP)
You guys, we needed this. It was important that someone knock off the Atlanta Falcons, before that team started clinching things. Atlanta entered the day with a four-game lead in their division, up one game over Chicago in the NFC. If they'd kept rolling, soon we'd have all been writing about the possibility of an end-of-season Falcons shutdown. And no one wants that. Those of us who own Matt Ryan in multiple leagues definitely don't want it.
On Sunday, New Orleans managed to beat Atlanta 31-27, doing a favor for the fantasy community. Drew Brees passed for 298 yards and three scores, and Chris Ivory rushed for 72 yards and this ridiculous touchdown. That thing might just be the run of the year.
The Saints and Falcons combined for 894 total yards, an insane number, so nearly all the key skill players feasted (except Michael Turner, who was miserable: 13 carries, 15 yards). Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez were dominant, each reaching triple-digit receiving yards and finding the end zone twice. Julio Jones gave us an early injury scare (shin), but he returned to the field in the second half. Matt Ryan delivered his first career 400-yard game in a losing effort. Ryan also came thisclose to connecting with Roddy White on a late sideline shot that would have given Atlanta the lead, in miraculous fashion.
I could have used those points this week, I suppose. But we really can't afford to see the Falcons downshift in the fantasy playoffs, so we gotta just let it go. Lose the skirmish, win the war.