Drew Brees hasn’t won a game in years when he hasn’t thrown a TD. That is because it hasn’t happened in years. Today he traded his trademark TD performance with 5 interceptions. The Falcons feasted on his mistakes regularly, especially in the fourth quarter when the Saints were trying to mount their comeback. I figured this would be a game where Matt Ryan and Drew Brees would battle it out. That wasn’t the case. Brees through 50 times in the loss for a total of 341 yards. He had to with the team playing catch up all game long. Ryan, on the other hand, had only 165 yards through the air. He completed just over half his passes and had a TD as well. It wasn’t the greatest game for Ryan, but he didn’t need it. He played more of a game manager in this one, allowing his defense to take over. He hit Tony Gonzalez for a 17 yard TD strike in the 2nd quarter and basically was able to hold off the reigns from there.
Michael Turner had one of his better performances of the year in this one rushing for 83 yards on 12 carries and a first quarter score. Every time I think he is going to be weaned out of the offense he comes up with a decent performance. The Saints defense isn’t great, but Turner showed a little something extra in this game. Jacquizz Rodgers played decent himself with 43 yards on just 8 carries. When the running game plays this well it takes a lot of weight off Ryan’s shoulders.
This game goes to the defense though. Matt Ryan isn’t going to shine in every game. He has taken some major steps forward since his rookie year, but still is step below that elite category. If Brees doesn’t play so poorly, I’m not so sure that Ryan matches him in this game. I know that is being a little critical after another big win against the only team to beat them this season, but the playoffs are coming very soon and Ryan has to be at the top of his game by that time. This one showed some real balance though. Turnovers are the big reason they won this game, which won’t happen every game but was enough to take Atlanta to 11-1.