If you’re a fan of passing, this was the game for you. Unfortunately for fans of football in general, the Saints didn’t let the Falcons hang around and make it a game. Both quarterbacks had unbelievable games, but the score didn’t indicate that for the Falcons.
Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s record for most yards passing in a season, a record that many considered to be untouchable.
Brees threw for 307 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. I’m sure he would have loved to have left out the turnovers, but it’s a night that few Saints fans, and certainly he, won’t forget.
Matt Ryan threw for 373 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough to keep the Falcons in the game. That can be attributed to the stellar job the Saints’ defense did against the Falcons’ rushing attack. Michael Turner ran for just 39 yards, and the other two rushers, Jacquizz Rodgers and Matt Ryan both ran for negative yardage. That put all the pressure on the Falcons’ passing attack, and it just wasn’t enough.
This game really didn’t have much of an effect on the playoffs. The loss hurts the Falcons in seeding, but the difference between the 5 and 6 seed is minimal.
For the Saints, the win keeps them in the running for the 2 seed in the NFC. That is a big deal. Every team wants to have that first round bye, and the chance to host the conference championship. Home field advantage is huge in the playoffs, and the Saints don’t seem to want to lay down and let the 49ers simply have the 2 seed.