(video) New Orleans Saints Down Arch-rivals Atlanta Falcons

Saints nip rival Falcons in Sean Payton’s return

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The New Orleans Saints welcomed coach Sean Payton back after a season-long ban over the pay-for-injury bounty scandal with a 23-17 victory over NFC South division rivals Atlanta. Drew Brees threw for 357 yards and two touchdowns, and the Saints defense which surrendered a record 7,042 yards last season held the Falcons scoreless over their last four drives. It was just important to get the first win, Payton said. Its good to start the season that way. I thought we fought hard, especially late in the game. Click here for the full game highlights.

Pierre Thomas Should Be the No. 1 Running Back for New Orleans Saints

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Furthermore, Thomas 4.8 yards per carry was four times more than Ingrams 1.2 yards per carry. I know it is only the first week, but Thomas has proven time and time again that he is a more efficient running back. The Saints will still split carries with Thomas, Ingram and Darren Sproles, but I think it would be wise for the team to give the majority of the carries to Thomas. Once again, it is only the first game of the season and Ingram still has at least 15 more games to prove himself, but if he does not produce this season, he may not return next season. The Saints are deep at running back, and letting go of Ingram would not be detrimental to the team. It could actually create more opportunities for Thomas and the other running backs. In the Week 2 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Sean Payton should list Thomas as the no.

New Orleans Saints – PlayerWatch

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New Orleans defense was able to hold Atlanta to only 88 rushing yards. Newly-acquired Steven Jackson accounted for 77 of those yards, and 50 of his yards came on one run. Falcons quarterback Ryan rushed 12 yards on one carry and Atlantas other running back,Jacquizz Rodgers, was held to -2 yards. This is encouraging considering the Saints defensive unit allowed over 2,300 rushing yards last season. Im also really excited to see how the linebacker group will come together as the season progresses. Recent acquisition Parys Haralson recorded one hit on on Ryan and a sack as well. Likewise, Junior Galette recorded a sack for himself after missing much of the preseason with a minor injury.

Despite the Patriots being well-below their best they get a win over the Bills. Stephen Gostkowski booted a game-winning 35-yard...

Coach Sean Payton said he had no update on their condition. New Orleans Saints lost two interior defensive linemen — Brodrick Binkley and Tyrunn Walker — to unspecified leg injuries in the first half. Coach Sean Payton said he had no update on their condition. Copyright Thomson Reuters, 2013.

Another late Falcons drive stalls in the Superdome as Atlanta falls to Saints, 23-17

The Man burns during the Burning Man 2013 arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 31, 2013. The federal government issued a permit for 68,000 people from all over the world to gather at the sold out festival, which is celebrating its 27th year, to spend a week in the remote desert cut off from much of the outside world to experience art, music and the unique community that develops. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR USE WITH BURNING MAN RELATED REPORTING ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS

“It was great to see him (Harper) come up with those plays,” said Brees. ” It’s another new defensive scheme, but yet he’s a smart guy, he’s a tough guy.” Ryan was under pressure on his last throw into the end zone for the 6- 5 Gonzalez. “He threw it up like a jump ball,” said Harper. “Kenny (rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro) made a play on the ball and I dove for the interception. Next thing I know, (Malcolm) Jenkins is on top of me beating my chest.” Ryan had marched the Falcons down the field from their own 20-yard line on their final series.

New Orleans Saints’ Marques Colston sets franchise record for receptions: notebook

PHOTOS: Last week’s best news photos of the week The painful ending was eerily similar to a year ago. Saints cornerback Jabari Greer knocked down Ryans fourth-down pass for Roddy White from the 2 to preserve a 31-27 New Orleans victory. Only that time, the Falcons were 8-0 and headed for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. This time, they fell a game behind the Saints in a division that has not had a repeat champion since its formation in 2002. Any time you lose it stinks, and certainly today it stinks that we didnt get the outcome that we wanted, Ryan said. We gave ourselves a chance, and we just fell short. The biggest part of being a professional is being able to move on. Theres 15 more to go and lots of ball to be played. Ryan, who drove the Falcons 77 yards to the New Orleans 3 on their final possession, started to celebrate when his third-and-goal pass reached running back Steven Jackson at the goal line.

Falcons Lose to Saints 23-17

Joe Horn is No. 2 in franchise history with 7,622 yards. “It feels pretty good,” Colston said. “Sean (Payton) talked about it all week, but he told me that it would only be special if we got the win. It was great to get a team victory.” Even Brees had to marvel at the unique situation as he recalled Colston’s first training camp in 2006 as a seventh-round draft pick out of Hofstra.

New Orleans Saints’ Defense Comes Up Big In Win Over Atlanta Falcons

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Payton and Gleason joined hands and raised them up to the crowd in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, who went absolutely wild. Gleason was a former special teams player for the Saints who gained fame for blocking a punt in the first home game played in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. In 2011, Gleason revealed he was battling ALS, and began work raising money and awareness to fight the disease with his charity, Team Gleason. Wearing a Defend New Orleans t-shirt, Gleason accompanied Payton out before the game and led the crowd in a Who Dat chant. Sundays game marked Paytons return to the sidelines , as he was suspended for the entirety of the 2012 season by the league for his involvement in the Bountygate scandal. PHOTOS: Click Next to check out Week One action

Sean Payton and Steve Gleason leading Saints on the field is inspiring

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He was 1 of 4 from there, connecting only on a dumpoff to White for a 4-yard gain on second down. On fourth down, Gonzalez said he was the second option behind wide receiver Julio Jones . “Give them credit, they made the play,” Gonzalez said. “The ball was up in the air and I liked my chances, but we were just a fingertip away.” Ryan passed for 304 yards and touchdown passes to Gonzalez and Jones. Jackson rushed 11 times for 77 yards in his Atlanta debut, including a 50-yard run. New Orleans’ defense gave up a pair of 50-yard plays, the other on a pass to Harry Douglas , but also produced pressure regularly. The group also produced a momentum-changing turnover when Malcolm Jenkins stripped Jones and Harper recovered, setting up Marques Colston ‘s 25-yard TD catch, which tied the game at 10 in the second quarter.

Falcons fall just short vs. Saints, 23-17

In fact, the former Purdue star has been sacked at least 20 times in each of the previous four season (95 total). For the lack of protection Brees may sometimes get, the offensive line should be blamed for last season’s ineptitude in the ground game. Guard Jahri Evans, one of the best in the business, and tackle Jermon Bushrod were named to the Pro Bowl last season, but Bushrod is no longer with the team. Evans was selected to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl, while center Brian de la Puente is coming off his first full season as a starter. An entire offseason and training camp can only make this line even more cohesive. Charles Brown is penciled in to start at left tackle, Brees’ blind side, and Zach Strief is expected to win the job at right tackle.

New Orleans Saints 2013 Season Preview

Under the direction of new coordinator Rob Ryan, New Orleans made a stand at its own 3-yard line in the waning seconds – capped by an end zone interception by safety Roman Harper – to beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-17. “It (the stand) was obviously big. It was the difference between winning and losing,” said Payton, banished last year as a result of the Bountygate scandal that rocked the Saints. Payton led New Orleans to a Super Bowl title in the 2009 season. En route to a 7-9 finish in 2012, the Saints defense allowed an averageof 440.1 yards a game. New Orleans’ defense wasn’t smothering against a potent Falcons offense led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw for 304 yards and two touchdowns.

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