Falcons blow 24-6 lead, but still defeat Saints 27-25

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The Saints were listless through three quarters. Then after going down 24-6, they woke up.

New Orleans scored 19 straight points in the fourth quarter to take a 25-24 lead with just 1:01 left in the contest.

But instead of folding, the Falcons were resolute.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, quarterback Matt Ryan hit offensive weapon Cordarrelle Patterson down the right sideline for a 64-yard gain to New Orleans’ 11-yard line. And though running back Mike Davis fumbled a handoff, Atlanta recovered it. Ryan took a knee to set up Younghoe Koo for a 29-yard game-winning goal.

Koo came through, sending the ball through the uprights for a 27-25 victory as time expired.

The Falcons built an 18-point lead with a Koo 32-yard field goal in the first quarter. Then receiver Olamide Zaccheaus caught his first of a pair of touchdown passes at the end of the second quarter, giving Atlanta a 10-0 halftime lead.

After New Orleans kicker Brian Johnson hit a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter, Ryan ran in a 1-yard touchdown to go up 17-3. A Johnson 52-yard field goal made it 17-6, but then the Falcons looked like they had the lead for good.

Quarterback Trevor Siemian was strip-sacked and Atlanta’s James Vaughters, with Steven Means returning the loose ball all the way to New Orleans’ 6-yard line. Ryan hit Zaccheaus for a 6-yard touchdown on the next play, giving Atlanta a 24-6 lead.

But that’s when New Orleans finally got going. Going no huddle, Siemian got a quick 5-yard touchdown to Marquez Callaway to make the score 24-13. Atlanta then went three-and-out and New Orleans took only 51 seconds to get 54 yards and a 2-yard touchdown by Alvin Kamara.

Another three-and-out led to the Saints taking the lead, as Siemian hit Kenny Stills for an 8-yard touchdown with 1:01 left. But New Orleans’ two-point conversion failed, giving Atlanta an opportunity to win.

The Falcons got it done.

Ryan finished 23-of-30 passing for 343 yards with two touchdowns. Though Patterson had just 10 yards rushing, he caught all six of his targets for 126 yards.

On the other side, the Saints didn’t play Taysom Hill much at quarterback, instead rolling with Siemian. Siemian finished 25-of-41 passing for 249 yards with two touchdowns. Hill passed just two times, completing both for 33 yards.

Now at 5-3, the Saints are on the road at Tennessee next week.

The 4-4 Falcons are on the road at Dallas.

Falcons blow 24-6 lead, but still defeat Saints 27-25 originally appeared on Pro Football Talk