Even though Atlanta's defense had performed well in the takeaway category this season, they've had their troubles and without key linebacker
Those believing in an offensive shootout saw things come to fruition in the first half, and things looked to be highly in the Falcons' favor when they started the game with a seven-play, 80-yard drive to start fast and take the quick lead.
On the Saints' first play of the game, a pass from Drew Brees,
Then the New Orleans' haymakers started coming and the back-and-forth slugfest continued up until halftime.
Hoping to exploit Atlanta's struggling run defense, the Saints turned to the running backs, running four times against two passes on the next possession. Chris Ivory raced 56 yards for New Orleans' first score of the game.
The Saints used two touchdown catches by Jimmy Graham to answer Atlanta's offensive output. The Falcons' own tight end,
The Falcons got a TD catch from a little-used source on their first score. From the 1-yard line, Ryan hit the backup offensive lineman
Graham's second touchdown for the Saints came with 34 seconds remaining to give Atlanta's NFC South rival the 21-17 lead to head into the break.
The Saints have held the Falcons to 26 yards rushing in the first half, while running for 116.
Atlanta has failed to convert four of their seven third-down opportunities, including two third-and-1 attempts.