New Orleans Saints
Going into their Monday night matchup, the New Orleans Saints had a lot to play for against the Atlanta Falcons. First and foremost, the Saints could wrap up the NFC South and stay alive for a first round bye in the playoffs by defeating the Falcons. Also, Brees needed only 305 passing yards to break Dan Marino's iconic passing yardage record. Both took place as the Saints defeated the Falcons 45-16.
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons
Unfortunately, ESPN's broadcast of Monday Night Football began with an intro by Betty White. I heard this was coming so I was cringing as the Saints vs. Falcons game came on the air. When people dream of a "White Christmas," I'm not sure this is what they had in mind.
Trailing the Falcons 3-0, Pierre Thomas gave New Orleans the lead with a 4-yard run. However, Thomas was flagged 15 yards for putting a gold bow on the ball and handing it to a Saints fan. I was instantly brought back to December 14, 2003 when Saints WR Joe Horn used a cell phone in a primetime ESPN game vs. the New York Giants.
However, the main story of the first half was how Brees torched the Falcons through the air. In fact, Brees tallied 230 passing yards and two TDs through two quarters for the Saints. At the half, New Orleans led the Falcons 21-10 and Brees was within 75 yards of breaking the record.
In the second half, New Orleans' best efforts came from a Darren Sproles kickoff return and a Malcolm Jenkins fumble return for a TD. Nevertheless, with 2:51 left in the game, Brees threw a 9-yard TD pass to Darren Sproles to break Marino's record. The Saints accomplished everything they set out to do in defeating the Falcons 45-16.
I'm not sure whether to look ahead to next week's game against the Carolina Panthers or what may be a Saints vs. Falcons playoff game in two weeks. If it comes to pass, it would be a rematch 20 years in the making of the Saints vs. Falcons playoff game played after the 1991 season. I can't imagine the Falcons upsetting this Saints team in the Superdome in the playoffs.
Patrick Michael was born and raised in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. As such, he is a lifelong, diehard New Orleans Saints fan. His highlight as a Saints fan was experiencing the magical Super Bowl season of 2009.
ESPN broadcast of Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
"New York Giants 7 at New Orleans Saints 45," pro-football-reference.com
"Atlanta Falcons 27 at New Orleans Saints 20," pro-football-reference.com
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