Jameis Winston threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes and Wil Lutz kicked a winning 51-yard field goal with 19 seconds left as the visiting New Orleans Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-26 on Sunday afternoon.
The Saints blocked a 63-yard field goal attempt by Younghoe Koo as time expired, giving Dennis Allen a victory in his first game as Sean Payton’s successor as Saints head coach.
The Falcons took a 26-10 lead early in the fourth quarter before Winston and wide receiver Michael Thomas went to work.
Watson led a four-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Thomas and a two-point conversion that trimmed the lead to 26-18 with 11:12 remaining.
Winston and Thomas teamed on a 9-yard touchdown, but a two-point run failed, leaving Atlanta with a 26-24 lead with 3:38 left.
The Saints got the ball back at their 20 with 48 seconds and no timeouts left and Winston, who completed 23 of 34 for 269 yards, drove them into scoring range. A 40-yard completion to new Saints receiver Jarvis Landry set up the attempt.
Marcus Mariota, making his debut as Falcons quarterback, passed for 215 yards and rushed for 72 and a touchdown. Cordarrelle Patterson added 120 rushing yards and a touchdown.
The Saints had minus-2 passing yards in the first half, but Winston passed for 22 on the first possession of the third quarter, leading to Lutz’s 49-yard field goal that cut Atlanta’s lead to 16-10.
The Falcons responded on the ensuing possession with Mariota’s 2-yard touchdown run that produced a 23-10 lead at the end of the third quarter.
On the first possession of the game, Mariota drove the Falcons 40 yards to Koo’s 54-yard field goal.
On the Saints’ second possession Taysom Hill broke free for a 57-yard run that led to his 11-yard touchdown run and a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Patterson’s 5-yard touchdown run completed a 66-yard drive and gave the Falcons a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Koo added a 50-yard field goal and a 40-yarder as time expired, extending the Falcons’ lead to 16-7 at halftime.
— Field Level Media
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