News & Analysis

NFL Week 13 PFF ReFocused: New Orleans Saints 26, Atlanta Falcons 18

Taysom Hill and the New Orleans Saints‘ defensive front led the team to a 26-18 win over the Atlanta Falcons to cap off Thanksgiving.

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PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

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Final Score

New Orleans Saints 26, Atlanta Falcons 18

New Orleans Saints

The box score won't tell you this, but Drew Brees was great on Thanksgiving night. Brees was accurate at all levels of the field throughout the entire night, but he suffered from a handful of drops, including two in the end zone.

Ryan Ramczyk had a standout performance along the offensive line. He didn't surrender any pressure in pass protection and had an effective game as a run blocker, especially working on the backside of outside zone plays.

The Saints' defense had difficulties with Eli Apple committing three pass interference penalties and unable to cover Calvin Ridley. This forced the Saints to change their game plan in the middle of the first half and put Marshon Lattimore over Ridley and put Apple on an easier assignment.

Marcus Davenport forced a fumble and recorded two of the Saints' nine sacks. The Saints' defensive front was too much, especially at the end of the game where Matt Ryan was under consistent pressure Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta Falcons

Grady Jarrett had one of the more impressive performances in run defense that you'll see all season. It was tough for anybody on Atlanta's defense to get things going as a pass rusher, but Jarrett asserted himself in run defense all night long. Jarrett was consistently able to get into the backfield to disrupt the Saints' running attack, and he found success when matched up against a variety of New Orleans' blockers.

Atlanta's pass rush was virtually non-existent on Thanksgiving night. They finished the night without sacking Brees at all, and they only knocked him down a few times and their pressures were few and far between.

Ryan was sacked nine times and under pressure for a large amount of the game. Ryan looked to be having issues throwing the ball downfield. His most important throw was on fourth-and-14, where he hit Ridley for 14 yards to convert the first down and keep them in with a chance of coming back from three  scores down

With Julio Jones out, Ridley had to step up as the top receiver and had moments where it looked like he would be able to take over the game, but he was unable to get a big play downfield as his longest catch was 18 yards. However, one of the interference calls against him did go for 35 yards.

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