Ryan And Falcons Fly High In Wild 37-34 OT Win Over Saints

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons

It was an opening day to remember for the Falcons – and even more so – QB Matt Ryan.

The Falcons QB pulled out an amazing opening day against the high-powered Saints, throwing for a franchise-record 448 yards and three scores as the Falcons beat the Saints 37-34 in overtime.

Ryan and the Falcons offense needed some help from the defense, as they recovered a fumble from Saints WR Marques Colston at the Saints 38 on the second play of OT.

Matt Bryant, who kicked a tying 51-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, won it with a booming and won the season opener with a 52-yarder after the Saints fumbled the ball away on the second play of overtime.

The day was about Ryan, who was 31-for-43 with three scores. The record setting day saw Ryan overtake Chris Chandler, who threw for 431 yards in 2001.

”He’s played a lot of games, made a lot of plays for us,” coach Mike Smith said. ”But I was really impressed with his ability to extend some plays by moving around in the pocket. And he was very, very accurate. When you have (568 yards) of total offense and 448 through the air, your quarterback is playing well.”

The game was wild, as the two teams combined for 17 points in the final 2:50 of the fourth quarter.

The matchup fit right in with a divisional series in which nine of the previous 12 meetings were decided by eight points or less.

”That’s a tough game to lose,” Saint coach Sean Payton said. ”Every once in a while, you get in one of these games where the score goes back and forth. The smallest of details, especially in overtime, magnifies any little mistake.”

Brees threw for 333 yards, but was picked off in the end zone after the Saints drove to the Atlanta 14 in the third quarter. Colston had five receptions for 110 yards.


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