Sorry, everyone. It's a sponsored post and I gotta do it. Them's the breaks.
Obviously this was a poor defensive performance from the Falcons, one that left us all covering our eyes and hiding our kids and hunkering down in our basements with shotguns and cans of beans. There were still at least four plays worth celebrating, because they point to the fact that this team is not totally incapable of ever doing anything right. That's comfort.
Without further ado:
Vance Walker Nails Drew Brees
The Falcons only got one sack all day, and it came from a backup defensive tackle. Go figure.
Walker's always had a good motor on him, but his eight yard sack of Brees was especially beautiful. He clawed his way through the line with relative ease and put the Saints on a 2nd and 18 right off the bat on their second full drive.
It's hardly Walker's fault that the Saints later ended up scoring. He did his part.
The William Moore-Dominique Franks Connection
This was probably the play of the game. If the Falcons had capitalized on it, we'd definitely be saying so.
Drew Brees has a 1st and 10 on the Atlanta 12. The outcome is not in doubt. He is on fire, en fuego, and he is going to throw a touchdown pass if something awesome doesn't happen. He finds Jimmy Graham over the middle and goes for it.
Brilliant, beautiful William Moore sees this ball, gets a hand on it and forces it up into the air. Equally amazing Dominique Franks finds that this football fits snugly into his hands. The result is a stopped drive and a turnover, exactly the kind of thing you must do to stop Brees.
Dunta Robinson Makes A Pick
Robinson is much—and often unfairly—maligned in these parts, but this play was solid gold.
It's the Saints' first drive in the third quarter. They have a 1st and 10 on their own 41, and Brees is looking for Robert Meachem. DR diagnoses the play in a crowd and comes up with the tipped pass, which he then returned 14 yards to the Atlanta 30.
The Falcons proceeded to do nothing, which again, was not Dunta's fault. It was a nice play.
Chris Owens, Special Teamer
Owens is another guy who regularly gets beat up for his contributions on the field. He has now prevented not one but two return touchdowns in 2011.
Darren Sproles had 92 yards under his belt already and had evaded several Falcons on his way to the end zone. It was only Chris Owens' insane speed that saved six points, as he managed to shove Sproles out of bounds on the Atlanta 14. The Falcons held the Saints to a field goal on the drive.
Vote for the one you think mattered most.
Who had the defensive player of the game?
Vance Walker (9 votes)
William Moore/Dominique Franks (75 votes)
Dunta Robinson (21 votes)
Chris Owens (29 votes)
NOBODY RRRAGH (153 votes)
287 total votes