Saints Vs Falcons
QB: Wow, what a night. This game was a defensive slugfest, with both sides fighting for control of the NFC South. Drew Brees played very well with Kamara out with a concussion. It was up to Brees in Kamara’s absence and he nearly pulled it off, except that his one pass attempt that was intercepted mattered more than any other attempt as it sealed the loss for the Saints. Matt Ryan looked like he was falling apart midway through the game, tossing 3 interceptions in just 4 passing attempts. It looked like the Falcons would succumb, but Ryan did end up pulling it together and leading his team to a hard-earned and very close victory.
RB: Mark Ingram carried the rock 12 times for 49 yards, while Alvin Kamara went out with a concussion on the first drive. It was an injury that mattered greatly to New Orleans as they failed to dominate the run game the way they have for most of the season. Devonta Freeman showed up as the #1 for Atlanta by a long shot, running for 91 yards and a touchdown. Tevin Coleman was only second fiddle. It still wasn’t a terribly strong performance, but while Freeman ran hard, he didn’t have a ton of runs beyond the first line. New Orleans did fairly well defensively and looked good especially in the first half.
WR: Michael Thomas dominated the Falcons’ secondary. Targeted over and over by Brees, he hauled in 10 of 14 passes for over 100 yards and a score. It was a great night and he really stepped up in Kamara’s absence. Ted Ginn, Jr also had a fairly ok night with 71 yards. He took a brutal hit to the ribs but came back. It was hard enough that I wonder if he’ll be ok today. Julio Jones was targeted repeatedly as well, and while he posted 91 yards, it was on just 5 of 11 catches. Marshawn Lattimore had him beat most of the night and it was a Jones pass that was first intercepted, starting a run of INTs from Matty Ice.
TE: I don’t think the Saints passed to a TE all night, and Austin Hooper was not incredibly productive. I expect more of the same for Hooper for the last few weeks of the season.