(CTN News) _ It’s the NFL, Who Dats, and today the New Orleans Saints opened their season against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
In New Orleans, the game marked the beginning of the Dennis Allen era, while for the Falcons, it marked the end of the Matt Ryan era.
The first half of the game saw New Orleans’ offensive line play perhaps its worst game in a few years, with the Falcons defensive line sacking Jameis Winston four times in the first half alone.
At halftime, Falcons quarterback Jameis Winston had thrown for just 24 yards on 5-for-10 attempts.
Taysom Hill scored the Saints’ lone touchdown with an 11-yard run from the wildcat position after running 57 yards from the wildcat position earlier in the game.
Despite holding Atlanta to only 16 points in the first half, New Orleans’ defense struggled to stop running back/wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson, who consistently found big gaps in the defense.
Saints’ offense continued to struggle in the second half, settling for a field goal on its first drive and being unable to score.
During the third quarter, the Falcons added another touchdown, leading 23-10.
Following a field goal by the Falcons in the fourth quarter, Jameis Winston engineered a 1:29 touchdown drive involving four successive passes to Juwan Johnson, Alvin Kamara, Jarvis Landry, and Michael Thomas.
Despite trailing 18-26, New Orleans got within eight points with a good two-point conversion.
As the Saints kept coming, they made a defensive stop and then Michael Thomas and Jameis Winston found a rhythm and scored another touchdown, making the score 24-26.
With 19 seconds left on the clock, Wil Lutz converted a 51-yard field goal to give the Saints a 27-26 lead.
After a Marshon Lattimore personal foul, Atlanta had the opportunity to attempt a 63-yard field goal that was blocked by New Orleans.
A fifth consecutive win for New Orleans over the Falcons in Dennis Allen’s debut as head coach.