(SL) – It’s a new year and the NFL regular season is in the books. The Atlanta Falcons have had one of the best seasons in recent memory due to the numbers that their historic offense has put up. The Falcons were still fighting for the No.2 seed in the playoffs, and they knew the Saints definitely wouldn’t have a problem attempting to spoil that for them.So Matt Ryan put this explosive offense to work immediately as the Falcons scored on their opening drive for the 6th straight time. The was the first time this has been done in the Super Bowl era.
The Falcons were 5 plays into the game, and had already amassed 5 first downs and 2 touchdowns. One of those two touchdowns came when Devonta Freeman ripped the Saints defense for 75 yards, on the longest run of his career. This run also put Freeman over the 1000 yard mark for the first time in his career.The score was 28-17 going into halftime, but the way the Falcons were playing it was obvious that the Saints would have had to pull out every trick they had, if they wanted to leave with a victory. Matt Ryan just wasn’t having it. Ryan showed up and put together an incredible game, a game that will definitely put an exclamation mark on his case for MVP.
Ryan ended the game with 331 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Falcons went on to win 45-32. Saints quarterback Drew Brees added 376 yards to his season total which pushed him over the 5000 yard mark for the 5th time in his career. 5000 yards Is an amazing feat that has only been reached four other times, so that gives you an idea of how incredible Brees has been over the course of his career. This was an extremely exciting game for Falcons fans. The team finally swept the season series vs New Orleans for the first time in forever, and this defense showed up and stopped Drew Brees. Vic Beasley got one more sack in to make his total this year a league leading 15.5.
Fans were also treated at halftime as Michael Vick returned to the Georgia Dome for one last time. Many people didn’t like the idea of Vick returning to be honored at the Dome during it’s closing ceremonies, but the organization did the right thing by inviting the 37 year old former No.1 pick back into his former home to celebrate with fans one last time. Unfortunately for the Saints their season ends here at 9-7, and they will head back to New Orleans to prepare for the off season. The Falcons end the regular season with an 11-5 record, and their next stop is the NFC divisional round of the playoffs!