Falcons Vs. Saints Highlights: Michael Turner, Defense Nowhere To Be Found In Primetime Beatdown

For the Falcons, last night's 45-16 loss to the Saints was sorely lacking any real positive plays in Atlanta's favor. Just about everything went right for New Orleans: Drew Brees was his typical dominant self, the running game was successful enough to keep the Falcons defense off-balance, and Gregg Williams' defense limited Atlanta to just 16 points on the night.

Outside of another great game by Matt Ryan, it seemed like the rest of the Falcons weren't on their "A" game (or even their "B" game). Michael Turner was the biggest non-factor in this loss, carrying the ball only 11 times for 39 yards, and the run game was abandoned pretty early on thanks to an ineffective defense.

Atlanta's defense played perhaps its worst game of the year, getting shown up on national television to one of the league's top offensive attacks. As for the highlights, well...

Falcons-Saints Week 16 Highlights, courtesy of nfl.com

The Saints pretty much dominated the highlights category. Poor tackling by the Falcons and some great playcalling by Sean Payton saw Brees throw some bombs downfield and guys like Chris Ivory simply running it up the middle at will. The Falcons' rushing defense (ranked No.4 in the league) didn't look like a group that had just come off a "mini bye week."

The first play from scrimmage for the Saints pretty much dictated how the remaining three quarters would go for the Falcons defense: poorly. The line got almost no pressure, and when they did Brees would inexplicably sidestep out of harm's way. Despite managing to create two fantastic interceptions, the offense was never really able to capitalize on them.

Perhaps the only impressive play of the night came from Matt Ryan: he went 34-for-52 for 373 yards and a score, and both Roddy White and Julio Jones surpassed 100 yards receiving on the night. The real problem came in the red zone, which produced many more field goals than scores.

The real killer came right before half time, when Brees hit Jimmy Graham on a nine-yard touchdown throw that put the Saints up 21-10 with about 24 seconds left. For the Falcons, it was essentially all downhill from there.

With this loss, the Saints have now officially clinched the NFC South, and the Falcons will be relegated to either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed, depending on next week's results.

For more on the Falcons, visit The Falcoholic; for the Saints, check out Canal Street Chronicles.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.