Brees throws two TDs as Saints beat Falcons
NOV 21, 2013 10:18p ET
Anyone who thought the game would be dull given the Falcons recent struggles was proven wrong up through the final seconds.
These two teams typically play each other well, with the game coming down to the final minutes. Thursday night's 17-13 final score was right in line with that tradition.
"I thought that was a real good hard fought win," head coach Sean Payton said. "We tip our hat to Atlanta because they came out with great energy. We felt going into this game that it was going to be a challenge. It is every time we play them."
Quarterback Drew Brees was 23 of 33 for 278 yards, enough for him to pass Warren Moon in all time passing yards and secure 5th place on that list. Brees now has 49,566 career passing yards.
Brees targeted tight ends Ben Watson and Jimmy Graham for both of the Saints touchdowns on the night. Graham passed the 100-yard mark for the sixth time this season, which is tied for most in one season for a tight end. Graham capped off his 44-yard touchdown against the Falcons with his signature dunk over the goalpost, rocking it in the process, which electrified the Who Dat crowd in attendance.
Rob Ryan's defense forced five sacks, with defensive ends Cam Jordan and Akiem Hicks continuing to dominate. Jordan posted 6 tackles, 2.5 sacks and four quarterback hits.
"You know Cam is always leading the way," Hicks said, who had 1 1/2 sacks himself. "It was good win. There was a lot of pressure, but that pressure doesn't just come from up front. It comes from our linebackers, our secondary. We're thankful and glad we got that 'W.'"
Running back Pierre Thomas proved to be a dual threat one again, coming up with 73 yards on 10 carries, while catching five passes for 57 yards.
"He meant a lot,"coach Sean Payton said. "He's one of those players that does a lot of things well. He's versatile, hit some big screen passes, run after the catch. He's got good balance."
This victory means the Black and Gold retains a 1 1/2-game edge over the surging Carolina Panthers, whom the Saints will play twice in December. This win also makes next Monday's prime time matchup on the road with the Seattle Seahawks even more important, since the game's outcome will likely have an effect on homefield playoff position.
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