The NFL’s most intense rivalry added another chapter to it with the New Orleans Saints (2-1) coming away with a 43-37 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons (1-2).
The Saints drew first blood with a quick march down the field that was capped off by a pass to Ted Ginn in the endzone to get the early lead. However, the Falcons responded with a much more methodical drive that took a little more than six minutes off the clock and ended with an 18-yard pass to rookie Calvin Ridley to tie things up.
The Saints were able to get the lead back in the second quarter with a pair of field goals by Wil Lutz from 49 and 31 yards out respectively to give them a six-point lead. However, Matt Ryan found his rookie wideout from Alabama on a 75-yard pass to make it 14-13 with 2:12 left until halftime. The scoring wasn’t done though as Lutz drilled one through the uprights from 45 yards out to make it 16-14 at the break.
Ridley got his third touchdown of the ballgame on the first drive of the second half off of a nine-yard pass from Ryan to give the Falcons the lead. However, the momentum started to turn in favor of the Saints when Alex Okafor blocked a Matt Bosher punt that was recovered by Craig Robertson to put them at the Falcons 28-yard line. Three plays later, Drew Brees found Cam Meredith from 11 yards out to make it 23-21.
Atlanta wasn’t done though as they put together another 12 play drive that bled into the fourth quarter and was capped off by a five-yard pass to Tevin Coleman. The Saints responded with an eight play drive that was helped by a horse collar tackle on Taysom Hill to give them the ball at the Atlanta 10 yard line. Four plays later, Brees connected with Zach Line for a one-yard touchdown pass to give them a one-point lead.
On the next drive, it seemed like the Saints had forced the Falcons to settle for a field goal, but an unnecessary roughness call on David Onyemata during the field goal attempt gave Atlanta new life and that turned into seven points courtesy of a touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu.
The Saints offense was up to the challenge though, putting together an 11-play drive that took 5:43 off of the clock and ended with Drew Brees scrambling into the endzone to even things up at 37 and force overtime.
The Saints won the coin toss to start the overtime period and went on one of the most methodical drives of the season to this point, getting it down to the one-yard line with Brees performing his signature leap over the line to help his team come away with a big win in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Saints will now make a trip to New York to take on the Giants (1-2) with kickoff set for 12 pm.