First, it appeared the Falcons would go into the locker room with the lead. Then, it appeared the Saints were headed to a halftime lead. But after a crazy final few seconds, the teams are deadlocked 10-10 at the half.
Atlanta drove from its own 32 to the Saints 42. With 14 seconds left, Matt Ryan tried to hit Julio Jones and Marshon Lattimore picked it. The rookie corner nearly had a pick-six, but Jones made the tackle after a 33-yard return to the Atlanta 29. Jones was not happy as he headed to the sideline, yelling toward the Falcons bench.
With four seconds remaining, the Saints immediately lined up for a field goal. Wil Lutz‘s 47-yard field goal was good, but Josh LeRibeus was flagged for an illegal formation. The Saints guard lined up too far behind the line of scrimmage. Because time ran out, the teams headed to the locker room tied.
Saints coach Sean Payton gave officials an earful as they left the field.
The Saints lost running back Alvin Kamara, who will not return after being diagnosed with a concussion on the team’s first series. They also have had safety Kenny Vaccaro (groin), defensive end Trey Hendrickson (left ankle), guard Senio Kelemete (concussion), wide receiver Michael Thomas (unknown), linebacker A.J. Klein (groin) and tight end Josh Hill (unknown) leave to be examined during the first half. At one point, according to the multiple tweets, the Saints didn’t have enough doctors as players waited to get into the blue tent.
Kelemete will not return.
Drew Brees completed 14 of 17 for 154 yards and a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tommylee Lewis, who become the 60th player to catch a touchdown pass from Brees. Thomas has five catches for 58 yards. Mark Ingram has eight catches for 33 yards.
Ryan went 9-of-16 for 132 yards and a pick. Jones has three catches for 65 yards.