Sports

NFL Week 13 Recap, Analysis: Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints

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The Falcons won a wild one in the Georgia Dome to move to 11-1 on the season. It was an up and down game and one that was fitting for a divisional rivalry game.

The Falcons started out on fire running the football as they took a six play drive 80 yards in just under four minutes to take a 7-0 lead. Michael Turner looked like he found the fountain of youth on this drive as he had a 35 yard run and added a three yard TD run. Jacquizz Rodgers also got into the action early with two 14 yard runs. The running back by committee looked like it was working out just fine. The Falcons would score two more times to go up 17-0 before New Orleans would get on the board.

The Falcons were rolling early but they struggled at the end of the second quarter and especially in the third quarter. The Saints offense dominated the football in the third with drives of 15 and 8 plays while the Falcons went three and out the first two times they touched the football in the second half. The Saints wore down the Falcons defense during this stretch but the Falcons were able to hold the Saints to two FGs and maintain a four point lead.

The story of this game was the Falcons defense and Drew Brees INTs. The Falcons ended up picking off Brees five times (the first of his career) and also snapped his record for consecutive games with a TD pass.

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Matt Bryant had struggled in the last couple of weeks but he came through in this game with an early 45 yard FG and then two clutch FGs in the fourth quarter including a big 55 yarder with four minutes left to put the Falcons up by two scores.

On a day when the offense seemed to be in a funk after the first quarter, the defense came through almost every time they needed to. William Moore came up big with two INTs including the one that sealed the game but he wasn't alone. John Abraham got a big sack late in the game and Kroy Biermann got after the QB on multiple occasions forcing Brees into some errors. WillyMo's secondary pals of Dunta Robinson, Robert McClain, Christopher Owens and Thomas DeCoud didn't play a perfect game but they came up big when it mattered especially considering Asante Samuel had to leave the game early when he aggravated his shoulder injury.

The Falcons quest for respect and playoff success will continue and as Matt Ryan said on Thursday night, it's not something that the Falcons can worry about right now. Just keep winning and that' what the Falcons are doing.

Get more great Atlanta Falcons analysis over at The Grits Blitz.