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Brees Throws Three Touchdowns, Bush Scores Twice, Vilma Makes Key Stops To Keep Saints Undefeated At 13-0

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New Orleans (13-0) was able to hold off a surging second quarter Falcon’s team and narrowly escape with a win, 26-23, to keep the hopes of a perfect 16-0 season alive.

Hopefully the trend of close games stops after this win as the Saints were able to come back from a ten point deficit in the fourth quarter against the Redskins to pull out the victory with an overtime field goal last week.

Drew Brees was again a surgeon with the football dominating the Atlanta secondary for 31 of 40 passing for 296 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. He also was not sacked the entirety of the game.

In the last three games Brees has thrown for 1,086 yards, ten touchdowns and has a combined passer rating of 127.7. If that’s not making a case for the MVP award I don’t know what would.

The first quarter of the game saw only field goals, two by Atlanta and one from New Orleans, for a 3-6 score in favor of the Falcons.

Brees however sprang to life tossing two second quarter touchdowns, one each to receiver Marques Colston and running back Reggie Bush.

Atlanta was not able to match the Saints output and would only manage a field goal, going into half-time the score was 16-9.

Brees’ favorite target was running back Reggie Bush who caught his second touchdown in the opening possession of the second half and it appeared the Saints had distanced themselves from Atlanta with the score to make it a 23-9 game.

Bush would finish his day with a career high two receiving touchdowns on six catches for 46 yards, he also rushed for 33 yards on six carries for a 5.5 yard per carry average.

Atlanta continued to play hard taking advantage of the Saints depleted secondary when Chris Redman found receiver Michael Jenkins deep for a 50 yard catch and score to bring the game to within one touchdown 23-16.

The Falcons would then force a punt on the Saints next possession and regained control of the game after an 11 play, 79 yard drive that was capped off by a four yard touchdown plunge from running back Jason Snelling that tied the game 23-23.

New Orleans, as they have done so many times this season, took over at their own 17 yard line and began marching down the field for a time consuming 16 play, 63 yard drive down to the Atlanta 20 yard line.

The drive, that took nearly nine minutes off the clock,  would stall however and the Saints would settle for the field goal to make the score 26-23.

Atlanta would get the ball back with 4:42 remaining but the ensuing drive was very short lived.

After Saints corner back Randall Gay (7 tackles) dropped Jerious Norwood in the backfield for a 12 yard loss the Falcons were facing a second and twenty-two at their own 24 yard line, linebacker Jonathan Vilma dropped into coverage on the play and intercepted the pass intended for Roddy White.

New Orleans would fail to score any points on the turnover when they attempted a fake field goal that did not work which returned the ball to Atlanta at the 15 yard line with 2:07 remaining.

Yet again the Falcon’s come back attempt was thwarted by the play of Vilma, they were facing a fourth and two at the Saints 46 yard line threatening to get into field goal range, Redman threw over the middle for Snelling but Vilma sniffed out the play and clobbered Snelling for only a one yard gain.

Two chances for Atlanta to at least tie the game but Vilma stopped them both, He finished with seven tackles and one interception.

The Saints set a new franchise record for wins in a season, clinched a first-round bye and set a new franchise record for points scored in a season. They may be close wins, they may be ugly wins, but the bottom line is the Saints are getting it done.

New Orleans is set to square of with the Dallas Cowboys this Saturday at the Superdome and with a win there will clinch home field advantage throughout the play-offs.

Game Ball

No doubt about it, the game ball goes to middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma for his keys stops in the fourth quarter. If not for his interception and tackle on fourth down the Falcons would likely have made it into field goal range and tied the game to force over time. If that was the case the Saints may not have made it out of the Georgia Dome with the win and the hopes of a 16-0 season would have died.

Scoring Summary

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