Prior to Thursday night, the New Orleans Saints had beaten the Atlanta Falcons for four games running. The Falcons picked up their first victory in the rivalry since September of 2010, 23-13.
That makes it the first Atlanta victory over New Orleans for Tony Gonzalez, whose post-game comments show he had history on the mind as the game played out. Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
"They've had our number. There's no doubt about it, they've had our number. It feels really, really good to come out and get that victory. I'd be lying to you if I didn't say thoughts going the way of getting a loss again, even when we got that lead, crept up in my mind."
Gonzalez was targeted five times on the night, and had four receptions for 58 yards with a touchdown. He also made a key play late in the game, connecting with Matt Ryan on one of the first down throws that set up Matt Bryant's last of three field goals. The offense posted their second-lowest yardage total of the year, something that did not escape Gonzalez:
"They were shutting us down especially in that third and early part of that fourth quarter. We've got to play better. Offensively, there's no excuses, especially with the guys that we have on that side of the ball. . . . But, just like always, we came up with the plays when we had to."
With the win, Atlanta is now 11-1 and quickly moving towards clinching the division.