At the end of the first quarter the scoreboard read Atlanta 10, New Orleans 7. The Falcons were in the game and looked to be in good shape. However, that would be all she wrote for the Dirty Birds. The New Orleans Saints put the metal to the pedal and never looked back.
Atlanta picked up 136 yards of offense in the first quarter. The Falcons had controlled the clock, keeping the ball for over ten minutes, and Atlanta was excellent on third down conversions as well; they were three-of-four for seventy-five percent.
Atlanta had also run eighteen offensive plays to just eleven of the Saints. Then, the Saints took over the game in the next fifteen minutes of the contest. At the end of the first half the scoreboard read New Orleans 21 Atlanta 10. And here is why the Saints blew the game wide open:
The Saints offense controlled the clock, as New Orleans ran a total of twenty-eight offensive plays in the second quarter alone for a total of 190 yards of offense. The Saints averaged a whopping 7.1 yards per play in the second quarter of their 45–16 win over the Falcons.
By controlling the clock, the Saints defense got a little breather. And, when the Black and Gold defense was on the field they played excellent football. Atlanta gained just fifty-two yards on twelve plays in the second quarter of the game.
Atlanta picked up just two first downs and the Falcons were 0-for-3 on third down conversions in the second quarter. And the Saints offense made the Falcons defense pay on third downs as New Orleans finished the first half with a perfect eight-for-eight.
And then at 10:36 p.m. Central Standard Time our Saints Savior Drew Brees threw a nine-yard TD pass to Darren Sproles to break Dan Marino’s passing record. That strike also put the icing on the cake for a 45-16 win over the Dirty Birds.
The Saints also turned the tables on the Falcons when it came to rushing the ball and stopping the run in the game. Atlanta carried the ball 32 times for 138 yards back in the first meeting. This time the Saints held the Birds in check, allowing just 35 yards on 14 carries.
And the Saints O-Line blocked well all game long, as New Orleans rushed the ball 23 times for 164 yards for an average of 7.1 yards per carry. In the first meeting New Orleans only had 41 yards on sixteen carries.
And if things go on their current course, these two teams will play yet again in just two weeks!
In order to earn the #5 seed and avoid the Saints in the first round of the playoffs, the Falcons need Green Bay to beat Detroit, and they also need to beat Tampa Bay next week in Atlanta
In order for the Saints to gain the #2 seed they will need to beat Carolina on Sunday and also have St. Louis upset the San Francisco 49ers. If that does not happen then the Saints will be the #3 seed and will possibly host the Falcons again Wild-Card Weekend in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
And can I tell you how I really feel? Yes it is hard to beat a team three times. But the only thing better than kicking the Pigeons ass two times would be to kick their ass three times in one season.