The Saints came into the week with a 2% chance to make the playoffs despite their 4-9 record, and this victory keeps those slim chances alive for another week with games against the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers remaining on the schedule.
Offensive spotlight: Good things have happened when the ball has gone to Juwan Johnson this season. His 119.6 passer rating when targeted entering this week ranked seventh among tight ends with at least 25 targets, and that mark now sits at 124.7 after Johnson caught four of his six targets for 67 yards and two touchdowns against Atlanta. On initial review, Johnson was credited with a career-high three missed tackles forced after the catch.
Defensive spotlight: Alontae Taylor had the best game of his young career against Atlanta. Pending review, Taylor was targeted seven times and allowed just two receptions for 17 yards with four forced incompletions. It could have been an even bigger day for Taylor on the stat sheet, as he was charged with two dropped interceptions in coverage on PFF’s first-run analysis of the game.
Rookie spotlight: It wasn’t an ideal debut for Ridder in his first game replacing Marcus Mariota. The Saints' pass rush got to him (four sacks taken and 20 yards passing on 12 pressured dropbacks), and Ridder completed just three of his 12 pass attempts targeting receivers 10-plus yards downfield.
Fellow rookie Tyler Allgeier was the most consistent source of offense for the Falcons, with 139 rushing yards on 17 carries (8.2 yards per carry). His eight rushing conversions were the most for any Atlanta rusher in a game since Cordarrelle Patterson’s 10 conversions in the season opener against New Orleans.
Offensive line spotlight: The Saints' offensive line did a better job of creating room in the running game compared to the past several weeks. In the four games before their Week 14 bye, New Orleans averaged 0.4 rushing yards before contact per designed run (second lowest in the NFL). This week, that was a much more respectable 1.7 yards before contact per designed rushing attempt. That was a contributing factor in Alvin Kamara producing his highest rushing total (91 yards) since Week 6.
|Desmond Ridder||7.68||13 / 26||97||3.7||0||0|
|Andy Dalton||14.14||11 / 17||151||8.9||2||0|
|Taysom Hill||10.2||2 / 2||80||40||1||0|