Atlanta Falcons make too many mistakes in 31-21 loss to New Orleans Saints


31. 15. 21. 44. Final

A wounded animal is a dangerous animal, and these words perfectly sum up what we just saw inside the Superdome, as the Atlanta Falcons got comprehensively beaten by a fired up New Orleans Saints in a game filled with costly errors.

The opening few possessions set the tone for the game. Drew Brees marched the Saints down the field for a touchdown, and the Falcons would respond with a turnover on downs and a blocked Matt Bosher punt returned for a touchdown.

Every time the Falcons wrestled back some momentum, they blew it. Rookie running back Tevin Coleman looked good, but a fumble in the red zone was among the costliest of mistakes on the night.

Sometimes, you have to give credit to the other team. They are trying to win too, after all. Brees didn’t miss a beat, going 30-of-39 for 312 yards and a touchdown. Atlanta had no answer for tight end Benjamin Watson, who caught 10 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown.

A positive was once again the play of second-year running back Devonta Freeman. Freeman ran 13 times for 100 yards and a touchdown, and made eight receptions for 56 yards and another score. Up against the No. 31 run defense, it was surprising to see the Falcons run the ball only 21 times. The team averaged 7.1 yards per carry when they did hand it off.

These games happen. A few plays here, a few calls there and it could be a different ballgame. But the same can be said each time you win. On a short week against a desperate Saints team, the Falcons fell short.

Atlanta drops to 5-1, with Carolina 4-0 and New Orleans now up to 2-4. The defense was a mess tonight against the pass and has a lot to fix, and the offensive line will need shoring up in pass protection after allowing five sacks on Ryan.

In the NFL you are never guaranteed to win, but you will certainly lose. The Falcons are 5-1 and in an excellent position. They now enter a mini-bye and have 10 days to prepare, sort some issues and get healthy.

Up next, the Tennessee Titans.