Week 10 Initial Reactions: Falcons dominate rival Saints in victory
The Atlanta Falcons played their best all-around game in Week 10, knocking off the New Orleans Saints, 26-9, at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday.
The Falcons defense dominated, holding the Saints to only 317 yards, some of which came in garbage time. New Orleans didn't reach the 300-yard plateau until there was under two minutes remaining in the game.
For the first time this season in a game where Brees played the entire 60 minutes, the Saints failed to score a touchdown.
Most surprisingly, the Falcons recorded a season-high six sacks. Atlanta had just seven sacks in its first eight games, which was the fewest in the NFL. New Orleans came into the weekend having allowed the fourth-fewest sacks in the league.
Grady Jarrett and Vic Beasley led the way with 2.5 and 1.5 sacks, respectively.
It's important to note that Falcons linebacker Jeff Ulbrich took over the defensive playcalling from head coach Dan Quinn. The Falcons also added Raheem Morris back to its defensive staff as the new secondary coach.
Both moves seemed to pay dividends, as the defense played its best game of the year. Credit Quinn for making these moves, but this also doesn't reflect well on Quinn naming himself defensive coordinator coming into the 2019 season.
Offensively, the Falcons established their rushing attack, accumulating 143 rushing yards despite only averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Atlanta stuck to its run-first game plan, which was possible because the Falcons never trailed, and it led to Atlanta controlling the ball for nearly 34 minutes.
On special teams, new kicker Younghoo Koo went 4-for-4 in his Falcons debut. He hit two field goals in the first half to help Atlanta take a seven-point lead into halftime.