Falcons stun Saints to end six-game skidReuters | Atlanta | Updated: 11-11-2019 03:02 IST | Created: 11-11-2019 03:01 IST
Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes and the visiting Atlanta Falcons ended a six-game losing streak by stopping the New Orleans Saints' six-game winning streak, 26-9 on Sunday afternoon. Ryan, who completed 20 of 35 for 182 yards, threw scoring passes of 8 yards to Austin Hooper and 10 yards to Brian Hill for the game's only touchdowns.
The Falcons (2-7) limited Drew Brees and the Saints offense to three Wil Lutz field goals. Brees, playing in his second game after a five-game absence due to thumb surgery, completed 32 of 45 passes for 287 yards and was sacked six times by a defense that had seven sacks entering the game.
Thirteen of those completions (for 152 yards) went to Michael Thomas, the NFL's leading receiver who also made his 400th career reception. Thomas reached that milestone faster than any other receiver in NFL history, doing so in his 56th career game and surpassing Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s standard of 61 games. Thomas (407) also broke Browns receiver Jarvis Landry's record for catches (400) in the first four seasons of an NFL career.
The Saints (7-2) committed 12 penalties for 90 yards and gave Atlanta six first downs via penalty. Both teams were coming off a bye week. After Lutz's 28-yard field goal cut the Falcons' seven-point halftime lead to 13-9 after three quarters, Ryan and Hill connected for their touchdown seven seconds into the fourth quarter.
Younghoe Koo, making his Falcons debut, added his third and fourth field goals from 48 and 30 yards. It was the 100th regular-season meeting between the two long-time division rivals and Atlanta increased its lead in the series to 52-48.
Koo made a 37-yard field goal and Lutz made a 29-yarder as the first quarter ended with the score tied at 3. Ryan's touchdown pass to Hooper gave the Falcons the lead for good early in the second quarter.
Koo kicked a 36-yard field goal and Lutz kicked a 47-yarder as time expired, leaving Atlanta with a 13-6 halftime lead.