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Brees throws 5 picks, Saints fall to Falcons 23-13

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 30, 2012 at 12:40 am •  Published: November 30, 2012
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"Obviously we were going down to get some points in the 2-minute drill," Brees said. "Honestly I thought we had more time than we did. The last time I looked at the clock, we had 17 seconds. I thought we had time left to throw one underneath and kill the clock. Unfortunately the clock was down to 7 when I looked back up after the completion. That wasn't enough time to get the spike.

"That's my mistake that happened. We needed points, at least 3, and definitely another shot at the end zone, so that was on me. We have to get that."

It was an ugly visit to Atlanta for the Saints, from start to finish.

When the Saints arrived in Atlanta, their bus was pelted by eggs at the airport.

Michael Turner scored on Atlanta's opening possession, Tony Gonzalez hauled in a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan, and Matt Bryant booted three field goals, including a 55-yarder.

The defense did the rest. Thomas DeCoud, Sean Weatherspoon and Jonathan Babineaux also had interceptions for Atlanta.

Brees completed 28 of 50 passes for 341 yards.

The Falcons opened the game with a dominant drive.

Ryan completed a pass on the first play from scrimmage and then turned it over to a running game that has struggled most of the season. Turner burst around right end for a 35-yard gain. Jacquizz Rodgers broke off two straight 14-yard gains. Turner scored from 3 yards out for his 58th touchdown in five seasons with the Falcons, breaking the team record he had shared with Terance Mathis.

Atlanta struck again in the opening minute of the second period. Julio Jones hauled in an 18-yard throw from Ryan, setting up a 17-yard touchdown pass to Gonzalez in the back of the end zone. He beat former teammate Curtis Lofton; maybe as a sign of respect, Gonzalez just flipped the ball over the crossbar instead of his customary basketball dunk.

Brees' second interception, this one a sloppy pass behind running Chris Ivory that deflected into the arms of Weatherspoon, set up Bryant's 45-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead.

The Saints took control the rest of the second quarter and most of the third. Ingram's touchdown run capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive. Hartley's first field goal, from 21 yards in the third quarter, ended a 15-play, 83-yard drive.

Hartley connected again from much farther out on the Saints' next possession, a 52-yarder that brought New Orleans even closer.

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