QB Drew Brees has passed for 197 yards in the first half and RB Mark Ingram carried the ball in for a score as the Saints trail the Falcons 17-7 at halftime.
Atlanta began the contest between NFC South opponents with the football and was able to move down the field for a touchdown on the game’s opening possession.
RB Michael Turner was able to break away on a run for 35 yards while RB Jacquizz Rodgers was able to pick up 28 yards on two carries. Turner capped off the 80-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run and K Matt Bryant added the extra point to give the Falcons an early 7-0 lead.
After a touchback, Brees and the Saints offense took the field for the first time of the day. Brees was able to move the ball into Atlanta territory but a second down strike intended for WR Marques Colston was intercepted in the endzone by S Thomas DeCoud.
At the end of the first quarter, Atlanta took possession of the ball inside New Orleans territory after a solid punt return. QB Matt Ryan was able to connect on all four of his attempts and hit TE Tony Gonzalez in the back of the endzone for a 17-yard touchdown pass. Bryant added on the PAT to increase Atlanta’s lead to 14-0 at the start of the second quarter.
After the Saints defense forced a three-and-out, Brees dropped back to attempt a play action pass on first down. The ball, intended for RB Chris Ivory, was tipped and intercepted by LB Sean Weatherspoon. The Falcons offense couldn’t move the chains and Bryant made a 45-yard field goal to give Atlanta a 17-0 advantage.
The Saints were able to pick up some offensive rhythm on their next possession as Brees was able to pick up three first downs through the air including a 32-yard completion to WR Lance Moore who made a great catch in the middle of the field. Ingram capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run and K Garrett Hartley made the extra point to bring the score to 17-7 with under four minutes remaining in the first half.
After forcing an Atlanta three-and-out, aided by a sack of Ryan by DE Cameron Jordan for a loss of six yards, the Saints received the ball with less than three minutes on the clock. Brees completed five of six passes for 78 yards but time expired in the first half to stop the Saints drive at the Atlanta three-yard line.
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