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The Saints generated some pressure in this one, but it wasn't off the edge against the Falcons' tackles. Both Kaleb McGary and Jake Matthews had solid performances in pass protection, surrendering just a couple of pressures on the day between them.
This wasn't the best game we've seen from Matt Ryan. The veteran signal-caller struggled with his accuracy throughout the game, didn't have any big-time throws and made a bad read on a fourth-quarter interception. It wasn't all bad – Ryan made a nice throw to Austin Hooper for Atlanta's first touchdown, and he connected with Julio Jones for a big gain – but Atlanta's defense and a creative running game that New Orleans couldn't solve in the first half were the primary cogs that drove Atlanta to victory in New Orleans.
Foyesade Oluokun stood out for Atlanta's defense in a game where he saw the most snaps he's seen so far this season. Oluokun was all over the field, playing well in both coverage and against the run, recording a handful of stops on the afternoon.
Grady Jarrett was a force along the Falcons' defensive line. The veteran interior defensive lineman racked up three sacks, and he tacked a couple of additional pressures on top of them. Jarrett also had a handful of plays where he beat the protection but the throw got out just before he could land a pressure.
Demario Davis was a standout player for New Orleans on defense. The veteran linebacker had a nice day as a blitzer, tallying a sack to go with a handful of additional pressures. Davis also played well in coverage, forcing an incompletion on a third-down pass to Devonta Freeman at the end of the first quarter and recording a few stops.
It didn't come until the game was pretty much out of reach, but Marcus Williams made the play of the day for New Orleans' defense. With just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Matt Ryan attempted to connect with Calvin Ridley on an out-and-up down the right sideline and Williams broke on the route perfectly, undercutting Ridley and coming down with the interception.
This certainly wasn't a game that future Drew Brees is going to look back on fondly. Brees struggled to get things going early on, missing some uncharacteristic throws, and he wasn't able to get anything going downfield throughout the contest, spending much of the afternoon dumping the ball off to underneath targets.
Left guard was a weak spot for New Orleans' offensive line in Week 10. Andrus Peat started there and gave up a sack and was beaten a few other times in pass protection. Peat was then replaced by Will Clapp, who didn't fare any better. Clapp was also beat for a couple of sacks in addition to a few other beats that didn't result in a sack.