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Falcons vs. Saints halftime score: Atlanta down 17-21 as Superdome shootout rolls on

The Atlanta Falcons trail by three points as we enter the second half of this offensive duel in New Orleans.

Both quarterbacks have been nearly impeccable - Matt Ryan is 16-of-20 for 183 yards and two touchdowns, while Drew Brees is 12-of-18 for 152 yards, two touchdowns and an interception - but the running game has been the real difference maker in this one.

While the Saints have already compiled 116 rushing yards on the day, including 67 yards and a touchdown from Chris Ivory, Falcons running back Michael Turner has a paltry 15 yards on 10 carries.

To top that off, wide receiver Julio Jones has yet to return from the sideline after he walked off the field midway through the first quarter. He currently has two catches for 14 yards.

Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, his two counterparts, have picked up the slack admirably, combining for 10 catches and 156 yards receiving. White has already surpassed 100 yards on the day.

On defense, however, the Falcons have sorely missed outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who is inactive for the second consecutive week with an ankle sprain.

As a result, Drew Brees has exploited that lack of depth at linebacker by connecting with tight end Jimmy Graham five times for 89 yards and two touchdowns already.

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan will look to make some half-time adjustments and shore up his pass defense as we enter the third quarter.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.