If the members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins really do celebrate each year when the last undefeated team loses, they can pop the champagne now.
The Falcons are undefeated no more after falling to the Saints 31-27 in New Orleans today, a game when Atlanta got off to a great start but New Orleans held tough to make a strong statement that they’re still NFC playoff contenders.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw an interception on his first pass of the game, but after that he was excellent, finishing 21-for-32 for 298 yards and three touchdowns, with no more interceptions after that first one. The Saints also got a big game from running back Chris Ivory, whose 56-yard touchdown was one of the best runs in the NFL all season.
Matt Ryan was great for the Falcons, completing 34 of 52 passes for 411 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception, but Atlanta got a dreadful game from running back Michael Turner, who had 15 yards on 13 carries. The Falcons’ offense also suffered an early blow when Julio Jones left the game with an ankle injury, but Jones ended up toughing it out and returning to the field to finish the game.
The Falcons may still be title contenders, but after winning several close games over the first half of the season, they’ve now finally lost one. And the Saints, who had such a disastrous start to the season, are back in the hunt.