Matt Ryan made his first mistake of the day in the third quarter, and it was a costly one.
Though Ryan is a respectable 21-for-30 for 235 yards and two scores entering the fourth quarter, a deep pass intended for Drew Davis on his first drive of the second half was picked off by the Saints.
Drew Brees then led his offense down the field in just seven plays on the ensuing possession, capped off by a seven-yard TD pass to wide receiver Marques Colston. That score put New Orleans up 28-17, and that advantage has held steady to the fourth quarter.
As for the Falcons, their only other offensive possession of the quarter ended in a three-and-out. Former Atlanta linebacker Curtis Lofton would come up with an impressive play to defend a Ryan pass on third and short.
However, early in the fourth quarter the Falcons capped off a truly clutch 14-play, 91 yard drive that was capped off by Tony Gonzalez's second touchdown reception of the day, this one from six yards out.
Excluding the interception, Ryan's has had another quality day thus far, with 279 yards and three touchdowns added to his resume this game.
Stay tuned for the SB Nation game recap following the game's conclusion.