Late in the fourth quarter, New Orleans connected on a field goal to take a 31-27 lead. Atlanta's defense helped prevent a touchdown, something they'd struggled to do for much of the day. Though they allowed a 46-yard completion to Jimmy Graham, they stopped New Orleans on third-and-11 to end the drive.
On third-and-3 from the Atlanta 27, Ryan connected with
Ryan connected with six different receivers on the drive, but the most important connection wasn't completed.
After Atlanta stopped the Saints, they had one final chance with 37 seconds remaining. Ryan's bid for his 21st game-winning drive fell short.
The key stat in the loss for the Falcons was their difficulty in avoiding penalties. The entered the game against the Saints as the least-penalized team in the league with 24 accepted penalties on 34 flags thrown. On Sunday, they were penalized six times for 53 yards.
The Falcons' first loss of the season drops them to 8-1 on the season.