ATLANTA -- Despite three interceptions by the Falcons offense, the unit cashed in with a touchdown when it mattered most on a drive that ended in a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu to tie the game at 17 apiece.
After two interceptions in the third quarter and multiple stops by the defense, Atlanta's offense needed a drive that ended in points.
And that's what exactly what happened.
"Sometimes that's how it goes," Ryan said of his three interceptions. "That's the case in all sports. There are nights that are like that, but those don't define the outcome of the game. How you respond to those situations defines who you are as a player and who you are as a team. I thought that was critical for us as a team tonight to be able to respond on both sides of the ball. To make plays and to just gut it out and find a way to win."
Ryan finished the night completing 15 passes for 221 yards.
The 11-play, 69-yard scoring drive that started the fourth quarter was one that involved all of the Falcons' offensive weapons. Tevin Coleman ran for 26 yards, Devonta Freeman ran for five yards, Julio Jones caught a pass from Ryan for a gain of 19 yards and then Sanu capping the drive off with an 8-yard touchdown catch.
Atlanta's defense then forced New Orleans to punt on the next series, getting the offense back on the field. The Falcons were able to turn this offensive series into another scoring drive – this time, a 52-yard field goal made by Matt Bryant to take the lead, 20-17.
It wasn't a perfect performance by the offense by any means, but when they needed points the most, they found a way to get the job done.
"Obviously it was an up and down game," Ryan said following the win. "It was a battle for sure. Made some mistakes, were able to overcome them. Good teams find ways to win. Our defense stepped up and played extremely well. I thought our offensive line played really well. I'm just proud of the way guys competed for four quarters."