New Orleans Saints
8:20 PM ET
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
TV: NFL Network
Live Blog: You're Already Here
Despite their 0-4 start, the New Orleans Saints find themselves in the NFC Wild Card playoff hunt. But at 5-6, the Saints have very litte margin for further error.
Fortunately for the Saints, they're playing a team they have dominated over the past few years: their NFC South rivals Atlanta Falcons.
New Orleans has proved to be the only team the ascendant Atlanta Falcons have trouble beating over the last few years, at least in the regular season. The Falcons have lost their last four straight games against the Saints. And since Week 6 of last year, they are 18-1 against the rest of the league, per ESPN Stats and Info.
So far this year, New Orleans is the only team to get the best of Atlanta, winning 31-27 at the Superdome in Week 10. But according to Falcons receiver Roddy White, that had nothing to do with the Saints.
"I feel like we kind of gave it away. We just gave it to them," he said after the loss, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It wasn’t nothing they did. It was what we did in not cashing in on opportunities. We play them against in three weeks and we’ll be ready."
If the Falcons can finally get past the Saints on Thursday night, not only will they improve 11-1 but they'll also hurt their rivals' playoff hopes and the chances they meet again in January.
STAY TUNED FOR LIVE UPDATES:
|@ NFLONFOX : The #Falcons defense had Drew Brees' number & tonight it's 5--the most INTs he's thrown in 1 game. Brees' 54-game TD pass streak is history.|
|@ JeffDuncanTP : Nightmare night for Drew Brees: 28 of 50, 341 yards, career-high 5 INTs and for the first time since 2009 w/o a TD. Passer rating: 37.6.|
|@ SI_PeterKing : Biermann, Dunta, Abraham, Moore, Mike Nolan ... Take bows, Atlanta D. You totally undressed Brees tonight.|
Matt Ryan take a knee. He'll have to take at least one more and the Falcons will win 23-13.
Rodgers starts left and then cuts right up the middle and picks up the first down. Saints call their final timeout but that should do it.
|@ JeffDuncanTP : This is the first five-interception game of Drew Brees' career.|
Rodgers runs right and gains 4 yards. Saints call timeout.
Ok NOW Brees has thrown his 5th interception. He threw it deep to Lance Moore but WILLIAM Moore comes flying into the picture and picks it off. There goes Brees' streak of consecutive games with a TD pass.
|@ ProFootballTalk : Brees' 54-game TD pass streak is in grave danger.|
|@ wyche89 : Drew Brees just caught a major break -- Airport Bus Eggers|
Drew Brees just threw his 5th interceptions of the game but it was negated by an offsides penalty on Abraham. 2-MINUTE WARNING.
Brees looks for Jimmy Graham on his left but it's broken up. Incomplete.
Brees throws one down the middle to Lance Moore for 15 yards. That his 7th catch of the night.
The ruling is a fumble but Bush was down by contact after he recovered. Ball is down at New Orleans' 30.
|@ SI_PeterKing : RT @RefereeJimD: Come on guys this is forward progress! Why would they not kill the play? Unbelievable! ... Jim pissed at Green's crew.|
Turner got the toss and ran left and fought for extra yardage, but as was getting dragged down by 5 Saints defenders he lost the ball and it was recovered by Rafael Bush and taken all the way for the touchdown. No whistle was blown, but no TD signal was made either. Refs are reviewing the play now.
Michael Turner runs right for about 1 yard. 3 minutes left in the game.
Brees is hit as he's thrown and the ball goes right into the hands of Jonathan Babineaux for his FOURTH INTERCEPTION. That will probably do it.
Brees looks for Henderson down the right sideline but Owens is there to bat it away. Henderson had got some separation there but Brees' pass was underthrown.
|@ TripTP : #Saints can't blame 0-4 start for keeping them out of playoffs anymore if they lose this.They had a chance tonight and blew it vs. #Falcons.|
Brees goes through his progressions and looks for Moore all the way on his left but it bounces into Moore's arms. Incomplete. Offensive lineman Strief of New Orleans is down on the field.
Brees waits in the pocket and throws a wobbler (might have been tipped) to Lance Moore for 14 yards.
Brees looks down field but can't find anything. Then he surprised Sproles with a short pass and he drops it.
Cadet takes it out from 6 yards deep and barely makes it across the 20-yard line.
|@ Michael_Fabiano : Big field goal from Matt Bryant...he now has 13 fantasy points, more than both QBs.|
Matt Bryant kicks a 55-yarder to make it 23-13 FALCONS.
|@ TripTP : This is the game here|
Ryan throws a dump pass to Snelling on his right and he runs toward the middle of the field to the Saints' 37. Matt Bryant will try for the field goal...
Matt Ryan gets pressured and has to get rid of it right away to Rodgers but he's dropped for a 6-yard loss. Big 3rd down coming up.
Ryan checks down to Rodgers but he's dragged down after a 2-yard gain.