29 November 2019 04:43

Hill partially blocked Atlanta's first punt, setting up the Saints in great field position at the 30-yard line.

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Saints 17 Falcons 9: Second Half Game Thread

Atlanta - Taysom Hill, the New Orleans Saints' do-everything player, dominated the first half of Thursday's game against the Atlanta Falcons, giving the Saints a 17-9 lead at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Hill partially blocked Atlanta's first punt, setting up the Saints in great field position at the 30-yard line. Drew Brees then connected with Hill on a short 3-yard scoring pass. Following an Atlanta touchdown and a 22-yard Wil Lutz field goal, Hill struck again. With the Saints facing a third-and-1 at the 2-minute mark of the second quarter, Coach Sean Payton inserted Hill at quarterback.

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He took the snap from the shotgun, ran up the middle and then cut it to the left side and outraced all the Falcons for a 30-yard touchdown run. The start of the game couldn't have gone better for the Saints (9-2), who will win the NFC South title for the third consecutive season with a win against the Falcons (3-8). Defensive end Marcus Davenport sacked Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan on the first play and when the Falcons were forced to punt, Hill made his first big play of the half. Brees' scoring pass to Hill was the 532nd touchdown pass of Brees' career, moving him into second place all time behind Peyton Manning. It was the fourth receiving touchdown for Hill this season, most all time for a quarterback.

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The middle of the half bogged down for the Saints based on a combination of tough field position and penalties, which has been a problem all season. The Saints were penalized three times for 72 yards, the biggest being a 25-yard pass interference call on Eli Apple which set up Ryan's 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jaeden Graham. He later missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt but ended the half making a 45-yarder. Saints receiver Tre'Quan Smith left the game with an ankle injury The Saints force a three and out and Taysom Hill blocks the punt. With short yardage Taysom Hill then goes on to score the touchdown.

the teams exchange a couple of punts then the flag extending drive for the Falcons starts. Falcons have excellent field position. With a 3rd and 8 the flag flies on Eli Apple againt for PI and the Falcons score. Saints put together a good drive aided by a 1st down conversion by Tre'Quan Smith and a nice catch and run by Jared Cook, putting them in 1st and goal range. Alvin Kamara rushes for about 5 and Tre'Quan Smith is down after making a block. Jared Cook drops an easy touchdown pass and the Saints have to settle for 3. A completion a run after moves the Falcons down the field. the Falcons attempt a fieldgoal and miss Saints ball at the 32. Brees to Jared Cook for a 1st down at the Atlanta 41. Taysom Hill in at quarterback and he runs in for the TD. Falcons drive to the 44 then a false start backs them up. Falcons pick up the 1st down and drive into normal fieldgoal range. Saints go into the half up 17 to 9. The New Orleans Saints have always had a custom of passionate pregame speeches from quarterback Drew Brees, but the 2019 season introduced a new twist during Brees' five-game absence with a thumb injury. Linebacker and defensive captain Demario Davis stepped into Brees' role while the quarterback was away, but they've teamed up now that the Saints are back together. The team pregame huddle is even more passionate than it's ever been, with Brees reviving his iconic "win again" chant from the 2009 Super Bowl season while Davis added his "prowl, kill, eat" mantra. On Thursday before their game with the Atlanta Falcons, Brees and Davis made things topical by acknowledging the Thanksgiving holiday, and made note of what they're thankful for. Drew Brees picked up where Davis left off, saying, "We came here to get a win.