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Falcons 20, Saints 30: Atlanta’s season ends with a thud and more records for Matt Ryan

It was ugly and frustrating, but the 2021 season is finally over for Atlanta.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons came into this game with only one thing they could really accomplish: keeping the Saints out of the playoffs. Did they do it? Did they knock their hated rival out of contention for 2021? Read on to find out.

First quarter

After the Falcons win the toss and defer, the Saints offense start from their 16 with Taysom Hill passing to Adam Prentice for just 2 yards. Tre’Quan Smith picks up 8 on the pass and the first, Grady Jarrett stops the Alvin Kamara run for no gain but his second run goes for 27 and the first. Ugh. Tony Jones runs for 4 and the pass to Nick Vannett gains 10 and another first at the ATL 33. Deonte Harris takes the end around for 9 and Prentice converts the first. Kamara runs for 5 and the drive finishes with a touchdown pass to Adam Trautman. Falcons get beat by a man named after a fish.

Falcons 0, Saints 7

After the touchback, the Falcons offense starts with a run by Cordarelle Patterson for 3. The 2nd down pass falls incomplete, but a roughing the passer call offsets it. After a false start, on 1st and 15 the pass to Patterson gains only 1 but the 2nd down pass to Russell Gage picks up 26 and puts the Falcons at the NO 33. The pass to Pitts is too high on 1st down, but Gage picks up another 9 on 2nd down. Patterson converts the short 3rd down. Matt Ryan connects with Kyle Pitts for a short gain on 1st down and the 2nd down pass is thrown away. On 3rd and 9 from the New Orleans 23, Ryan is sacked because life is pain. Younghoe Koo comes on and punches in the 48 yard field goal.

Falcons 3, Saints 7

From their 25, the Saints offense starts with a 26 yard deep pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Kamara runs for 8 and Taysom Hill runs for 5 more and the first. The pass for Harris is high on 1st down and Harris picks up 9 on the 2nd down pass. On 3rd and 1, Kamara picks up 10 and gets the first, putting the Saints at the ATL 17 as the quarter comes to an end.

Falcons 3, Saints 7

Second quarter

Taysom Hill runs for 4 and Kamara loses 3 on the ground. On 3rd and 9 from the ATL 16, Hill can’t complete the pass to Marquez Callaway. The Saints can’t capitalize, as they miss the 34 yard field goal!

Starting on their 24, the Falcons offense starts with a fullback reception for 3 big yards. After Patterson runs for 2, on 3rd and 5, Ryan hits Olamide Zaccheaus for a big 28 yard gain and the first down. Patterson runs for 4 and Mike Davis adds 3 more on the ground. On 3rd and 3 from the NO 36, Ryan can’t connect with Gage as he’s pressured almost immediately. Younghoe Koo comes on and does what a kicker should do and punches in the 54 yarder.

Falcons 6, Saints 7

From their 27, the Saints get going with 2 on the ground from Kamara followed by him losing 1. On 3rd and 9, Hill connects with Tre’Quan Smith for a 34 yard gain because the Atlanta defense is made of melted peanut butter. Kamara runs for 5 and Hill runs for 3 more. On 3rd and 2 from the ATL 30, Hill keeps it and converts on the 5 yard run. Hill runs for 1 on first down but looked to get injured and Trevor Siemian comes on for 2nd and 9. The second down pass is nearly knocked away by A.J. Terrell and on 3rd and 9 from the ATL 24, the pass is incomplete but Fabian Moreau is flagged for defensive PI. The drive finishes with Siemian throwing the TD pass to Tre’Quan Smith.

Falcons 6, Saints 14

Starting from their 36 after the return by Avery Williams, Ryan goes deep but is intercepted by Paulson Adebo.

Kamara runs for 4 and 8 and Tony Jones adds 6 more on the ground. After Jones is stopped for no gain and a false start, on 3rd and 9 from the ATL 41 , Siemien hits Montgomery for just 1 yard but Dante Fowler is flagged for roughing and the Saints get 15 and the first. The pass to Kamara gains 3 and Kamara runs for 4 more. On 3rd and 3, Siemian’s pass goes incomplete. Brett Maher comes on and punches in the 37 yard field goal to extend the lead.

Falcons 6, Saints 17

After the touchback with 1:03 left on the clock, the pass to Mike Davis is short and he’s mugged and he fumbles it and the Saints recover it. Life is painnnnnnnn.

Siemian comes on and misses the first pass and Kamara runs for 6. On 3rd and 4 from the ATL 5, Siemian hits Juwan Johnson for the touchdown. My god.

Falcons 6, Saints 24

That debacle thankfully takes us to the half, where we can dream of

At the half: Falcons 6, Saints 24

Third quarter

After Avery Williams returns it to the ATL 34, the Falcons offense starts with a 6 yard run by Mike Davis. After Ryan’s pass to Smith gains 1, on 3rd and 3 Ryan’s pass to Pitts is batted away. Three and out. Atlanta punts.

From their 13, the Saints offense starts a Kamara run for 1 and again for 8. On 3rd and 1, Kamara runs for 13 and the first. Siemian’s first down pass falls incomplete and Siemian fumbles on 2nd down to lose 4 yards. On 3rd and 14, Kamara takes the pass for 13 yards but comes up just short. The Saints go for it on 4th and short and they don’t convert!

With the ball on the New Orleans 45, the Falcons drive starts with a nice gain of 16 on the pass to Gage. Davis runs for 4 and again for 9 to setup 1st and 10 from the NO 16. Ryan’s pass to Tajae Sharpe goes incomplete and Davis runs for 6. On 3rd and 4, Davis runs for 2 and it’s 4th and 2. They go for it on 4th down and the shovel pass to Qadree Ollison is batted away. Turnover on downs.

Kamara runs for 6 and after a false start, Kamara runs for 2. On 3rd and 7 from their 11, the short pass to Deonte Harris gains 5 and the Saints choose to punt on 4th and 2.

After Avery Williams returns it to their 44, the offense comes back on and starts with Ryan targeting Gage deep and nearly being picked off. Ryan then targets Hayden Hurst deep and hits him for 33 yards and the first. The pass to Gage gains 4 and Qadree Ollison finishes the drive with a 19 yard touchdown run!

Falcons 13, Saints 24

From their 25, the Saints offense starts with a pass to Smith for 8. After Kamara loses 1 on the ground, on 3rd and 3 the pass to Smith picks up 13 and the first. Kamara runs for no gain but an illegal hands penalty gives them 5 yards and the first. Jones runs for 4 and we head to the final quarter of misery.

Falcons 13, Saints 24

Fourth quarter

Kamara starts the final quarter with a 13 yard run for the first. Jones runs for 3 and Kamara for 5 and on 3rd and 2 from the ATL 14, Siemian hits Harris for 10 and it’s first and goal from the ATL 4. Kamara loses 1 on first down and the 2nd down pass is incomplete. On 3rd and goal, Kamara loses 4 yards on the run. The Saints take the short 27 yard field goal to make their lead 14.

Falcons 13, Saints 27

After the touchback, the Falcons offensive offense begins with a short pass to Davis - who then fumbles it and the Saints recover. Misery.

The Saints take over on the ATL 29 and start with 2 on the ground from Alvin Kamara. He runs for 2 more and on 3rd and 6, Kamara runs for 6 and the first. Kamara runs for 4 and again for no gain and on 3rd and 6, Siemian throws it away. The Saints tack on 3 more with the 33 yard field goal.

Falcons 13, Saints 30

Starting on their 24, the Falcons start with one of their patented sacks of Matt Ryan that loses 6 yards. Ryan hits Zaccheus for a gain of 6 and on 3rd and 10, Ryan is hit as he throws and it falls incomplete. Falcons punt.

From their 32, the Saints drive starts with Kamara running for 4 and Jones adding 5 more. On 3rd and 1, Jones runs but doesn’t pick up the first. Saints punt.

Starting on their 15, the Falcons sad, sad offense begins with Ryan scrambling for 2. He’s then sacked for an 8 yard loss and on 3rd and 16, Ryan hits Gage for 14 yards to setup 4th and 2 from their 23. Ryan then hits Gage for 21 yards and the first. Ryan hits Zaccheaus for 13 more and then connects with Kyle Pitts for 7. The 2nd down pass is batted down and on 3rd and 3, Ryan hits Gage again for 17 more and the first. The first two passes go incomplete and on 3rd and 10 from the NO 19, Ryan’s pass to Sharpe also goes incomplete. On 4th and 10, Ryan hits Gage again for 18 yards to setup 1st and goal from the NO 1. Ryan finishes the drive with the short TD pass to Russell Gage. Atlanta goes for 2 and the pass to Sharpe is completed, but a holding penalty negates it. They go for the kick instead on the 2nd go round.

Falcons 20, Saints 30

The kickoff and knees from the Saints take us to the end of this ugly, ugly game.

Final: Falcons 20, Saints 30