NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 1 Game Recap: New Orleans Saints 27, Atlanta Falcons 26

Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) celebrates after a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t start pretty, but ultimately the New Orleans Saints eked out the 27-26 Week 1 win over the Atlanta Falcons after a Will Lutz 51-yarder with 29 seconds remaining. The Falcons have a lot of positives to take from their performance, but that means very little when it doesn’t impact the win column. 

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Offensive spotlight: Boy, is it good to see Michael Thomas back healthy. While he did drop a couple of passes, Thomas hauled in five of eight targets for 57 yards and two scores in his first game back from injury. They eased him in, playing him nearly exclusively in passing situations. Of his 35 snaps on the day, 33 were pass plays. 

Defensive spotlight: The Saints' new safety duo made their presence felt Sunday. Marcus Maye didn’t allow a reception on his lone target, while Tyrann Mathieu allowed one catch on two targets for one yard.

Rookie spotlight: Drake London was as advertised as the first receiver off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft. He led the Falcons with five catches on seven targets for 74 yards. While he did have a drop, that was never an issue for him at USC.

Offensive line spotlight: One of the biggest surprises of the Falcons' performance was how well their offensive line fared in pass protection. On 37 pass-blocking snaps, they allowed all of three pressures on the day combined. Arthur Smith did a good job of protecting them with play action on 18 of those 37 pass plays.

Betting Summary

Betting Odds Closing Result
Spread NO -5.5 ATL Covers
O/U 44 Over

Box Score

Passing
New Orleans Saints
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Jameis Winston 21.66 23 / 34 269 7.9 2 0
Atlanta Falcons
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Marcus Mariota 20.8 20 / 33 215 6.5 0 0
Rushing
New Orleans Saints
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
Jameis Winston 21.66 2 9 4.5 0 6
Taysom Hill 15.3 4 81 20.2 1 57
Alvin Kamara 7.6 9 39 4.3 0 15
Mark Ingram II 2.3 4 22 5.5 0 7
Atlanta Falcons
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
Cordarrelle Patterson 25.6 22 120 5.5 1 15
Marcus Mariota 20.8 12 72 6 1 16
Avery Williams 2.5 2 7 3.5 0 5
Damien Williams 0.2 2 2 1 0 2
Receiving
New Orleans Saints
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT TD
Michael Thomas 22.7 8 5 57 7.1 2
Jarvis Landry 21.4 9 7 114 12.7 0
Taysom Hill 15.3 1 1 2 2 0
Chris Olave 9.1 3 3 41 13.7 0
Alvin Kamara 7.6 4 3 7 1.8 0
Juwan Johnson 6.3 5 2 43 8.6 0
Mark Ingram II 2.3 1 1 1 1 0
Deonte Harty 1.4 1 1 4 4 0
Atlanta Falcons
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT TD
Cordarrelle Patterson 25.6 5 3 16 3.2 0
Drake London 12.4 7 5 74 10.6 0
Olamide Zaccheaus 7.9 4 4 49 12.2 0
KhaDarel Hodge 6.8 3 3 38 12.7 0
Kyle Pitts 3.9 7 2 19 2.7 0
Avery Williams 2.5 1 1 8 8 0
Anthony Firkser 1.6 2 1 6 3 0
Parker Hesse 1.5 2 1 5 2.5 0
Bryan Edwards 0 1 0 0 0 0
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