The New Orleans Saints defeated Atlanta Falcons this Thursday and secured the first place in the NFC South division. Led by Taysom Hill and the rest of the boys, the hosts were better than the rivals with 26-18.
“If I can step on the field eight to 10 to 15 times, whatever that number is, my goal is to add a spark whenever I can,” Hill said. “I love to be able to go in and add some energy.”
Although Saints recorded points only through Wil Lutz in the second half, it was more than enough for them to clinch a massive win. The advantage made in the opening two quarters was enough for Sean Payton’s team. Also, their defense did a hell of a job in the latter part of the game, preventing the guests from coming back and endangering the lead.
Especially good was Cameron Jordan. In fact, he was fabulous. With 38 seconds to go, Saints’ defensive end sacked Matt Ryan for the ninth and the final time in this event, to end Falcons drive and secure his team’s 10th win of the season.
After Younghoe Koo’s 43-yard field goal with 1:56 to go, he also performed an onside kick, which was recovered by the Falcons at the 47-yard line on their territory. Atlanta was behind eight points, and had a chance to force overtime. But they didn’t use it at all, as their offensive line fell apart during that drive.
The Saints sacked Ryan four times in those 74 seconds. Jordan had two of them. Matty Ice ended the match with 312 yards, 35 for 50, for two touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Those nine sacks cost the Falcons 53 negative yards. He also had two fumbles, one lost and one recovered.
“We had to drop back and pass at the end of the game,” Ryan said. “When you do that and there’s really no threat of run, it’s tough sledding, particularly when you’re going against a good defense, a very good defensive line and one of the better pass rushers in the game in Cam Jordan.”
Ryan’s favorite target was Calvin Ridley, who caught 81 yards on eight receptions. The two touchdowns were to Russell Gage, and Jaeden Graham.
On the other side, Drew Brees threw for 184 yards, 18 for 30 for one touchdown. But he had superb Taysom Hill, The 29-year old guy who is listed as a quarterback did everything besides his official job. At first, he blocked a put, to set a perfect position for Drew Brees and the Saints offense. Payton left him on the field, and he caught a three-yard TD for New Orleans’ initial lead.
“Coach (Sean Payton) is one of the best at being creative and putting guys in positions to be successful. I got lucky because I was that guy tonight.”
A blocked punt AND a touchdown for Taysom Hill in the opening minutes 💪
— ESPN (@espn) November 29, 2019
In the late part of the second period with 1:53 to go, he made a 30-yard rush, to carry the football inside the end zone, and extend the lead to 17-6. Overall, he was superb tonight, and besides Lutz, the only one who scored points for the home team.
The Saints are 10-2, and as we said, they secured the No.1 spot in the NFC South. However, they are competing with the San Francisco 49ers for the top spot in the NFC and home-field advantage. Right now, Kyle Shanahan’s boys have a small edge, but that could be erased already next week. The 49ers are coming to town next Sunday, and with a win, they might jump over the rivals.
Meanwhile, the Falcons (3-9) are far away from any playoff talks, and this season is a bust for the team from Georgia. They are meeting with the Panthers next Sunday.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.