Atlanta Falcons fans are basking in the glow of Thursday's 23-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Despite moments in the first half where the offense struggled, the defense did its job, intercepting Saints quarterback Drew Brees five times and ending his NFL record streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass.
Dave Choate of The Falcoholic did acknowledge that Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan did not have a good game, completing 18-of-33 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. Choate puts a little bit of Ryan's performance on how the pass protection didn't do its job:
The offensive line did a putrid job of pass protection again, primarily in the middle. The fact that opposing teams have figured out how to attack this line effectively and put real pressure on Ryan should be a huge wakeup call for Pat Hill and these players.
Choate didn't have much to criticize after that, especially given the performance of the defense. He talks about the pressure that defensive line was able to get on Brees all night and he sang the praises of the secondary:
The coverage was incredible. It had to be to force Brees into four picks and make him miss throws all game long. Particularly stellar games from Chris Owens and Robert McClain on that front. I'm proud of all of them, but those two were forced into a tough situation and responded admirably.
The Falcons now wait to see what happens on Sunday. They will clinch the NFC South with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss to the Denver Broncos. Up next for the Falcons is a game against the Carolina Panthers with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.