This recent Thursday Night Football game was crucial. Both heavily impacted the Saints and the Falcons. The Falcons coming into Thursday’s game were 5-0, while the Saints, off to a shaky start, were 1-4. Both teams have key players such as Drew Brees and Julio Jones. This game was bound to be great from the start.
The Falcons coming into this game have one of the best offenses in the league, with star running back Devonta Freeman off to an amazing start and Julio Jones also playing some great football. Freeman has 505 yards and 9 touchdowns in the first six games! He is also averaging 4.8 yards per carry. In addition Freeman can catch the ball well, racking up 32 catches for 296 yards and a touchdown. Jones is having an amazing year, catching 49 balls for 638 yards. He also has four touchdowns, and is averaging 13 yards per catch. So far this year the Falcons offense has been in tip-top shape.
The Saints have started this year looking very shaky. Coming into Thursday’s game they were 1-4 and last in their division. They needed a win on Thursday. It was crucial that their star players showed up to play. Drew Brees so far has had an average year, throwing for 1,619 yards and seven touchdowns. Although these stats seem pretty good, he has thrown 3 interceptions in 6 games, which isn’t great by Drew’s standards. Another player who has slightly under-performed for the Saints offense is Brandin Cooks. Only catching 29 balls for 363 yards is not cutting it. Additionally he has only caught one touchdown. Cooks came into the season looking to be a top 15 wideout right now he is sitting at 23, so not great. The Saints need to improve if they want to contend for the NFC South title.
This Thursday night matchup was bound to be a great one. Remember, Brees's streak of throwing at least one touchdown per game was snapped when he played against Atlanta on Thursday Night Football.
Now to get to the game. The Atlanta Falcons got defeated for the first time this season losing 31-21. Drew Brees really stepped it up going 30 of 39 for 312 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Ben Watson also played a huge role catching 10 balls for 127 yards and a touchdown. Freeman was one of the only bright spots for the Falcons on Thursday, rushing for 100 yards and a touchdown. Along with his rushing he caught eight balls for 56 yards and a touchdown. Considering how good Julio Jones has been playing, he had a mediocre game by his standards, catching six balls for 93 yards. This game was a huge shock to the football world considering the Saints in week five lost 39-17 to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The first quarter was all Saints they lead 14-0 at the end of the first. The Falcons eventually struck back in the second with a Roddy White touchdown. After that Freeman had an impressive 25 yard touchdown run. Once again the Saints strike back with a Mark Ingram touchdown, moving the score to 31-14 in the fourth quarter. Freeman added another touchdown late in the game, but it was not enough to spark a comeback. It was all over when the Falcons failed to recover the onside kick with 1:29 left in the fourth.