Saints
Falcons
20 - 34 Final
  for this game

Ryan, Falcons roll over Saints

Nov 9, 2008 - 11:16 PM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer*

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Winning is getting to be routine for rookie Matt Ryan and the high-flying Atlanta Falcons.

Ryan passed for 248 yards and two scores Sunday, leading the upstart Falcons to a 34-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The rookie completed 16-of-23 passes, including a 67-yard TD strike to Jerious Norwood on the second play of the fourth quarter to make it 27-6.

Roddy White caught five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown for Atlanta, which improved to 4-0 at home this season.

"I think everybody was excited with the win," Ryan said. "Anytime you play against a team of that caliber and walk away with the win, we're excited."

The Falcons, expected by most to be in rebuilding mode this season, have won four of their last five games to improve to 6-3 overall.

"There aren't any surprises in the NFL," Atlanta strong safety Lawyer Milloy said. "If you work hard and play hard, you have a chance in this league. Everybody was like, It's a rebuilding year, it's a rebuilding year. But I'm 35 years old. I don't have time to rebuild."

Ryan found White deep down the middle with a 16-yard strike to give Atlanta a 7-0 lead with 9:12 remaining in the first quarter, and the Falcons never looked back.

"That was an outstanding football game," Atlanta coach Mike Smith said. "We played a very explosive offensive team. I liked the way we played. Our players executed the game plan on both sides of the ball."

The Falcons, who allowed just 14 first-quarter points entering Sunday - the best mark in the NFL - held the potent Saints' offense out of the end zone for more than 50 minutes. New Orleans managed only two field goals through the first three quarters.

Atlanta, which blanked the hapless Oakland Raiders last Sunday, set the tone from the outset as safety Erik Coleman intercepted Drew Brees on the first play from scrimmage. The Falcons maintained a high intensity level throughout.

Brees tried to rally the Saints (4-5) in the fourth quarter, but rookie cornerback Chris Houston stopped a New Orleans' scoring drive with an interception in the end zone.

Rookie cornerback Chevis Jackson sealed the win with a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave Atlanta a 34-13 cushion with 1:17 remaining.

"We've had some success the beginning of the year," Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking said. "I think we've exceeded everyone's expectations on the outside. It's very encouraging."

Michael Turner rushed for 96 yards on 27 carries and scored a touchdown for the Falcons. He also was an integral part of a clock-grinding drive that took more than eight minutes of the clock in the third quarter.

Jason Elam capped the long possession with a 27-yard field goal, giving Atlanta a 20-6 lead with 2:06 remaining in the period.

"They just played a better game than us," Saints receiver Devery Henderson said. "We just need to get our act together. It's how it happens sometimes. This is the NFL, and if you're not ready, you're going to be in trouble."

Norwood collected 178 all-purposes yards - 17 on the ground, 88 in the air and 73 on kickoff returns - for the Falcons, who won for the first time in three tries against NFC South Division opponents.

"These (division) games count as two," Turner said. "You want to win (games within) the division. We're trying to make our run for the playoffs."

But Atlanta's young quarterback is not ready to start thinking about the team returning to the postseason just yet.

"We've gotten off to a good start," Ryan said. "The biggest thing for me is that I don't think that way. I try to think about it week in and week out and try to pull my weight out there."

Brees connected on 31-for-58 for 422 yards and two touchdowns, but his three interceptions sealed his club's fate as tensions escalated on the New Orleans sideline.

The Saints quarterback got into a heated exchange with emotional tight end Jeremy Shockey on the bench after New Orleans went three-and-out on a series late in the third quarter.

Shockey spent the fourth quarter on the bench, and the Saints had their best success moving the ball without him. The former New York Giant downplayed the incident.

"No (there wasn't any miscommunication)," Shockey said. "The more time Drew and I spend with each other, the better it's going to get."

The Saints claimed Shockey sat out the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.

New Orleans finally got in the end zone on Brees' 16-yard TD pass to Deuce McAllister with 9:40 remaining. Brees then hit Lance Moore for a 31-yard TD on a "Hail Mary" pass on the game's final play.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ORLEANS 3 3 0 14 20
    ATLANTA 7 10 3 14 34 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - TD, RODDY WHITE 16 YD PASS FROM MATT
    RYAN (JASON ELAM KICK), 5:53.
    Drive: 5 plays, 50 yards in 1:59.
    Key plays: Douglas 25-yard punt
    return to midfield; Ryan 14-yard
    pass to White to

    Nov 9 4:09 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    LANCE MOORE 32 YD PASS FROM DREW BREES
    (GARRETT HARTLEY KICK)
    NEW ORLEANS 20
    ATLANTA 34 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Saints 20, Falcons 34  End of Reg.Nov 9 4:09 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ORLEANS 3 3 0 14 20
    ATLANTA 7 10 3 14 34 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - TD, RODDY WHITE 16 YD PASS FROM MATT
    RYAN (JASON ELAM KICK), 5:53.
    Drive: 5 plays, 50 yards in 1:59.
    Key plays: Douglas 25-yard punt
    return to midfield; Ryan 14-yard
    pass to White to

    Nov 9 4:09 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    LANCE MOORE 32 YD PASS FROM DREW BREES
    (GARRETT HARTLEY KICK)
    NEW ORLEANS 20
    ATLANTA 34 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Saints 20, Falcons 34  End of Reg.Nov 9 4:09 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    CHEVIS JACKSON 95 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    NEW ORLEANS 13
    ATLANTA 34 1:17 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Saints 13, Falcons 34  4th - 1:17Nov 9 4:03 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    DEUCE MCALLISTER 15 YD PASS FROM DREW BREES
    (GARRETT HARTLEY KICK)
    NEW ORLEANS 13
    ATLANTA 27 9:54 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Saints 13, Falcons 27  4th - 9:54Nov 9 3:33 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    JERIOUS NORWOOD 67 YD RUN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    NEW ORLEANS 6
    ATLANTA 27 14:40 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Saints 6, Falcons 27  4th - 14:40Nov 9 3:19 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ORLEANS 3 3 0 6
    ATLANTA 7 10 3 20 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - TD, RODDY WHITE 16 YD PASS FROM MATT
    RYAN (JASON ELAM KICK), 5:53.
    Drive: 5 plays, 50 yards in 1:59.
    Key plays: Douglas 25-yard punt
    return to midfield; Ryan 14-yard
    pass to Wh

    Nov 9 3:14 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 27 YD
    NEW ORLEANS 6
    ATLANTA 20 2:06 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Saints 6, Falcons 20  3rd - 2:06Nov 9 3:09 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ORLEANS 3 3 6
    ATLANTA 7 10 17 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - TD, RODDY WHITE 16 YD PASS FROM MATT
    RYAN (JASON ELAM KICK), 5:53.
    Drive: 5 plays, 50 yards in 1:59.
    Key plays: Douglas 25-yard punt
    return to midfield; Ryan 14-yard
    pass to White

    Nov 9 2:25 PM
  • 20
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Saints 6, Falcons 17  2nd - 1:36Nov 9 2:20 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 22 YD
    NEW ORLEANS 6
    ATLANTA 17 3:05 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Saints 6, Falcons 17  2nd - 3:05Nov 9 2:06 PM


  • NFL
    FG NOR
    GARRETT HARTLEY 44 YD
    NEW ORLEANS 6
    ATLANTA 14 8:33 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Saints 6, Falcons 14  2nd - 8:33Nov 9 1:54 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    MICHAEL TURNER 2 YD RUN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    NEW ORLEANS 3
    ATLANTA 14 12:04 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Saints 3, Falcons 14  2nd - 12:04Nov 9 1:45 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ORLEANS 3 3
    ATLANTA 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - TD, RODDY WHITE 16 YD PASS FROM MATT
    RYAN (JASON ELAM KICK), 5:53.
    Drive: 5 plays, 50 yards in 1:59.
    Key plays: Douglas 25-yard punt
    return to midfield; Ryan 14-yard
    pass to Wh

    Nov 9 1:37 PM


  • NFL
    FG NOR
    GARRETT HARTLEY 24 YD
    NEW ORLEANS 3
    ATLANTA 7 2:15 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Saints 3, Falcons 7  1st - 2:15Nov 9 1:32 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    RODDY WHITE 16 YD PASS FROM MATT RYAN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    NEW ORLEANS 0
    ATLANTA 7 9:07 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Saints 0, Falcons 7  1st - 9:07Nov 9 1:19 PM


  • NFL
    NEW ORLEANS 0
    ATLANTA 0 14:56 LEFT, 1ST QTR
    NOR BALL ON NOR 24 YD LINE
    1ST AND 10

    Saints 0, Falcons 0  1st - 14:56Nov 9 1:03 PM
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    Saints vs. FalconsNov 9 10:10 AM
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