If the Atlanta Falcons overtake the defending Super Bowl champions in the NFC South this year, it will be easy to look back to find the moment where things began to change for the Falcons and Saints.
It came with 11:42 remaining in the second quarter Sunday, the Saints leading 14-7 and driving down the field. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who almost never makes a mistake, made a big one. Trying to escape heavy pressure from Atlanta’s pass rush, Brees attempted to throw an underhanded pass to rookie tight end Jimmy Graham.
Atlanta safety Thomas DeCoud jumped in for the interception, and what followed could turn out to be the most decisive moment in Atlanta’s season. The Falcons began a 19-play, 72-yard drive that lasted 10 minutes and 39 seconds. It ended with Michael Turner plunging into the end zone to tie the score just before halftime and it took away any momentum the Saints had built.