Atlanta Falcons: Defense ends Drew Brees’ TD streak and gets five picks

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strong>By Michael Cunningham

The Falcons defensive backs, always a boisterous group, took it up another notch while singing along to the stereo in the locker room after this one.

“Don’t believe me just watch!” they shouted.

It was an appropriate tune because their performance against Saints quarterback Drew Brees had to be seen to be believed.

Not only did Brees’ record streak of games with a touchdown pass end at 54 on Thursday night at the Georgia Dome, he also had a career-high five interceptions in the 23-13 defeat.

“We didn’t know anything about a record,” Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson said. “We just came out here and played hard. I feel like we have one of the best secondaries in the entire NFL and I think we came out and showed that today.”

William Moore had two interceptions and fellow safety Thomas DeCoud had one. The two other picks came after Brees passed short when the Falcons had his deep targets covered.

Brees had thrown four interceptions twice in his career, the last time in 2010 against the Browns. Brees started to explain each of his five picks against the Falcons before cutting himself short.

“I pride myself on being a great decision maker and the guy that is going to help us win games and not be a detriment and turn the ball over like that,” Brees said. “A couple of critical mistakes today that ended up costing us the game and I’m OK saying that because I have to hold myself accountable.”

Brees had 298 yards with three touchdowns and one interception during a 31-27 victory against the Falcons on Nov. 11. But the Falcons thought their man-to-man defense worked well in the second half of that game and so decided to use that strategy from the start in the rematch.

“We knew in the secondary we had the guys to match his receivers in tight coverage and make him make the perfect throw and if he doesn’t, we get the ball back,” DeCoud said.

DeCoud got it started when he ended New Orleans’ first drive by stepping in front of a pass intended for Marques Colston in the end zone. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon later got an interception after Brees’ short pass deflected off of running back Chris Ivory.

Moore picked off Brees in the third quarter when he cut in front Devery Henderson. In the fourth quarter defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux got an interception after Kroy Biermann hit Brees.

The Falcons had Brees so rattled that they intercepted him on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter. After an offside penalty negated Corey Peters’ interception, Moore sealed the victory with his second pick.

November 29, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lane Moore (16) makes a catch in between Atlanta Falcons defenders Sean Weatherspoon, left, and William Moore in the first half of their game at the Georgia Dome Thursday night in Atlanta, Ga., November 29, 2012. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

November 29, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lane Moore (16) makes a catch in between Atlanta Falcons defenders Sean Weatherspoon, left, and William Moore in the first half of their game at the Georgia Dome Thursday night in Atlanta, Ga., November 29, 2012. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

The Falcons roughed up Brees in spite of starting cornerback Asante Samuel missing most of the game with a shoulder injury. Reserve cornerbacks Chris Owens and Robert McClain both had key pass breakups.

“We’ve got plenty of depth,” Robinson said. “The young guys, they stepped in and made plays and that’s what this secondary is about. We are like brothers. We have fun together, we come out and work together, we practice hard together. And everybody has that kind of confidence in this secondary.”

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57 comments Add your comment

Ken

November 30th, 2012
2:21 am

FALCONS know how to RISE UP!!!!

REAMing aints

November 30th, 2012
2:25 am

REAMing aints

November 30th, 2012
2:32 am

So sweet to see Brees fail miserably, Graham a non-issue, and kick these losers out of the playoffs. A perfect night. Worst passing performance by Brees, consecutive TD streak killed, and the reality of our “giving” the game to them in N.O. confirmed. Go home aints, find a bottle and a dark alley and get back to your normal life. This season’s over for you and we kicked all your hopes, dreams, and cheating, headhunting, bounty gate, Tanya Harding a$$es back to the swamp. Brees was so full of himself on the pregame interview, saying how “everyone” realizes that bounty program never happened. What a delusional idiot. He has no clue and they got everything they deserved. The worst, most embarrassing team in the NFL. You got what you deserved tonight. Complete and total losers.

REAMing aints

November 30th, 2012
2:34 am

Oh, and did I mention that you’re LOSERS!!!!

gary32

November 30th, 2012
3:00 am

Go back and watch that offsides call in slow motion against Abraham….was not even close to being offsides…watch Abe and when the ball is snapped…sick of these damn refs!!!! as far as the fumble on Turner they let that play go on forever even after his forward momentum was stopped….sickening

OHIOdirtybird!!!

November 30th, 2012
3:24 am

@gary32…..totally agree!!, almost gave me a heart attack with that stupid a$$ call…..along with the no whistle on Turners “fumble”

Dylan

November 30th, 2012
3:47 am

Falcons defense set the tone from the first snap with the pass deflected by abraham. Falcons defense truly dominated this game, they showed up (in spite of missing star corner) and they dominated one of the top offenses in the NFL.

Falcons defense has showed up when needed most this season.They are underrated. Just last week they held one of the best RBs to a seasn low 50 yards rushing.

HATinGA

November 30th, 2012
6:07 am

If we can ever get both sides going at the same time we are going to be unbeatable, Matt was just a hair off tonight. But the defense stepped up big all night.

DC Dirty Bird

November 30th, 2012
6:29 am

Defense fought hard. They were on the field entirely too much. Still can’t figure out why we won’t use Quizz more in the redzone. The guy can’t make a one step cut back anymore. On the redzone play where Harry has the kick out block, if Turner plants his foot and cuts off of the block as its occuring….positive yards. Instead it takes him two steps to cut up field, the safety recovers and the play goes for a loss. Good things happen when Quizz is in the game….period.

okeetee

November 30th, 2012
6:39 am

Got to give the secondary an A+ tonight…..well, ok……an A! This is the most athletic and smart secondary that we have EVER had! Even when the opposition completes passes it’s not like the guy is WIDE OPEN like it use to be! Ryan had another bad game…..for him….yet no bonehead decisions that cost us points or the game! He knows how to manage a game and with his record at home, we have a chance no matter who we play in the playoffs if we can maintain home field through the Championship game! Once again, very impressed with the defense for the most part, especially our secondary! And it seems our secondary is deep and can take a hit from injuries and still keep ticking! Game ball goes to the secondary! When was the last time we ever could say that?!!!

Big Daddy

November 30th, 2012
6:46 am

What a team game. The Birds played a great team game. The defense, the offense, the coaching and the kicker. Way to go. We are 11-1!!!

Durt E Bird

November 30th, 2012
6:53 am

This Offensive Line is terrible! This entire game was carried by the Defense since the OLine couldn’t do crap.

Way to go Defense!

Samuel

November 30th, 2012
6:54 am

I have ripped Chris Owens for his play over the years. But after watching last night, he played well when they needed him to step-up. Also McClain had a real solid game. Over all, without their top cornerback Samuels, the defense played very well and won that game last night. Kudos to Mike Nolan for getting this defense ready to play. I notice that the run blocking was a lot better, but the pass blocking suffered. Hopefully, the pass and run blocking can come together at the same time. On the negative, when the Falcons get a lead they have to exude more killer instinct. They had an opportunity to put this team away in the first half. And the Falcons play calling got way too conservative down the stretch.

Esquire

November 30th, 2012
6:59 am

Shout out to the entire defense!! Another big game by Robert McClain, the Bierman, William Moore, DeCoud, Owens filling in for Samuel……….!!! #55, Dunta, Babs,

Big time SHOUT OUT TO MATT BRYANT!!

Esquire

November 30th, 2012
7:00 am

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

Big Ray

November 30th, 2012
7:15 am

Enter your comments here

Iluvnutella

November 30th, 2012
7:15 am

You could drive a truck through the holes on the D line last night. I love the win, but our D line and lack of a pass rush is gonna bite us against GB or SF or Ny. We will see. Also, what was up with Matty Ice? No deep balls against a porous D backfield. WTF?

robertussen

November 30th, 2012
7:16 am

great win now lets got get 7 more

Big Ray

November 30th, 2012
7:19 am

How you want those eggs? Over easy like a Brees pass?

Big Ray

November 30th, 2012
7:20 am

New Orleans fans are probably still retching. Told you this day was coming.

The division is ours. Go get a room with the Carolina Kitty Cats. Because the Bucs are better than you, too. It’s over.

:)

FanSinceBart

November 30th, 2012
7:26 am

Last year Brees broke a record in the Dome. I’m glad he was able to set some more milestones this time like 5 INTs and no more touchdown streak. I want the Dome to be special for him.

old man

November 30th, 2012
7:26 am

Lesson from this game: AT THE BARE MINIMUM, Quizz is the guy to ice a game when you need a first down. He has shown that over and over again.

old man

November 30th, 2012
7:29 am

How many carries did Antone have?

Basically, we caught NO in a pass D scheme that first drive. After they adjusted, we had little luck running. What was that goal line pitch to MT? Bad play call. Last guy to go around the end in the red zone.

UPGRAYEDD

November 30th, 2012
7:29 am

Michael Rosenberg, SI.com:

“And the Falcons continue to state their case, in a kinda-sorta way”"

“It means the Falcons are 11-1. But nobody will look at them like we would look at an 11-1 Patriots team or 11-1 Steelers team… Their record seems too sketchy.”

Again, the focus of the national media is how the other team LOST, and not how the Falcons WON. Can’t wait to rub their faces in it In Jan. and Feb.

Buddy Landel

November 30th, 2012
7:30 am

It’s hard to throw deep balls when you’re under constant pressure. We need to address our O-Line this offseason and hopefully talk #88 into sticking around.

FanSinceBart

November 30th, 2012
7:36 am

I have concerns too but I’ll take an ugly win over a motivational loss any day. Win the next 7 however you want and we’ll have the ring. Better yet, just make sure you don’t lose any of the last 3 in the post-season.

Dirtybird of Prey

November 30th, 2012
7:49 am

@ FanSinceBart – Last year Brees broke a record in the Dome. I’m glad he was able to set some more milestones this time like 5 INTs and no more touchdown streak. I want the Dome to be special for him.

Well said….gotta love karma.

Bronkelliott

November 30th, 2012
8:02 am

Loved the game so much. Almost gave me a stroke yelling in the fourth quarter. My wife came down to my man cave in the basement and screamed I was waking up the whole house! The refs tried to give this game away. They should be put on review for non calls and calls against the Falcons. I am so this team bows but does not break. Each week the find ways to win. Hopefully they can get the respect they deserve. How about the raucous crowd after the game? Awesome to see and hear. Go Birds. You made us proud !

Buddy Landel

November 30th, 2012
8:14 am

The ball’s in Paul Tagliabue’s court now. However, Vilma’s not much more than a name now, anyway. I don’t think it makes much of a difference if he plays or not.

Whadda Ya Know?

November 30th, 2012
8:14 am

The defense bailed our offense out tonight. An entire second half and zero TDs and can barely move the ball? Someone got some splaining to do about this offense. KOETTER!!!!

Season Ticket Holder

November 30th, 2012
8:17 am

Good win by the Falcons. The offense was sluggish after the first quarter, however, the defense was able to contain the Aints. Matt Ryan seemed nervous the whole game. We need Ryan to man up down the stretch!!! The Defense can’t keep winning the games. At some point the offense is going to have to prove it can dominate the whole game.

Whadda Ya Know?

November 30th, 2012
8:18 am

Oh yeah, Taints paid the refs off and it still didn’t help them. Those were some blantantly F’d up calls on the phantom offside, no calls on the arm bars their DBs used, and the forward progress whistle should have been blown two days ago for Turner, them cheatin as refs set that up.

Whadda Ya Know?

November 30th, 2012
8:23 am

Samuel (6:54), I completely agree with everything you said.

Whadda Ya Know?

November 30th, 2012
8:31 am

Bronkelliott, “They should be put on review for non calls and calls against the Falcons.” You got that right. I’m serious. McKay needs to contact someone and have their azzes put under review for the VERY questionable calls and non-calls (against our receivers, holding our DL jerseys the second half). That’s how their run game got better in the second half–holding our DL jerseys clear as day.

Old White Haired Man...

November 30th, 2012
8:34 am

good game… i did not get to see it… caught the highlights on SportsCenter…

Mike is Back

November 30th, 2012
8:40 am

Dled, all I can say is WOW…for the defensive effort of THE BIRDS against them friggin Aint’s!!

Mike Nolan U THA MAN!!!!

Tremendous effort by the entire Defense…thy where relentless all game…they kept coming after Beers…guy after guy was stepping up and making HUGE PLAYS.

Was it just me or did it seem like the Troy Bird Man played every position on the field.lol

It’s hard to single out one guy…I’m happy for Owen…I know I’ve been on him myself…BUT Owen and McClain have been solid all season. With Grimes and now Samuels out…these two cats have really step their game up.

Now these friggin Aint’s fan on our blog…can back to sleep till next season.LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RISE UP BIRDS…WAY TO BEAT THEM FRIGGIN AINT’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tardawg

November 30th, 2012
8:52 am

How appropriate that Brees is stopped in the dome, last year NO calls time out and instead of running out the clock for the victory , Brees sets his record at home and against our falcons, I lost all respect for Brees and Payton, they had another game brees could have got that yardage mark, but really that was last year and FALCONS stop his streak and WIN the GAME.

[...] Defense ends Drew Brees streak of 54 games with a touchdown pass [...]

North FLA Falcon

November 30th, 2012
9:13 am

The bad calls were a serious problem. Abe was NOT offsides. Also how about the “false start” on Tony G? The late whistle on Turner? What a complete joke. They were told to keep the game close for TV. They did not want their beloved Aints blown out. But it didnt’ matter. The defense played lights out. Also how about Bryant nailing a 55 yarder? His temporary case of the yips is gone I hope! Offense actually moved the ball fairly well at times. We had some drops … Julio, Roddy had the dropsies … play calling was suspect … too many 3rd and longs. Next up is a cold weather game vs Carolina! Don’t let up now! Play well and stay healthy in December.

SawThat1nce

November 30th, 2012
9:28 am

As usual, the Falcons had to play against 18 men.
The NFL officials were trying to do everything that they could get away with, to give that game to the Taints.
Why do the zebras always try to hand New Orleans the win, in every game that they play?

North FLA Falcon

November 30th, 2012
9:36 am

It’s just so refreshing after the FALCONS were the first sacrificial victims in the post-Katrina Superdome and after the FALCONS were the punching bags when Breezy broke the yardage record, to humiliate them and him, and snap his 54-game TD streak, on national TV.

monty

November 30th, 2012
9:51 am

SHoulda been a laugher but Ryan and WHIte and Jones made it a nailbiter. THey were basically No Shows. Could you imagine giving the Patriots 5 turnovers how bad they would have beat them? MAybe White will think twice about running his mouth when he can’t back it up. Greer shut him down like he was a chump. And I’m a big fan of Whites. Still don’t see them progressing in the playoffs, yet.

joja boi

November 30th, 2012
10:01 am

and just imagine how sweet it would be for the Burds, to hoist the Lombardi trophy in New Orleans this February…That is story book stuff!!

Paddy

November 30th, 2012
10:15 am

Agreed there were some questionable calls last night by the officiatig crew; but give it a rest! Some of you guys sound like teenagers after your HS team lost a game.

North FLA Falcon

November 30th, 2012
10:16 am

We need everyone clicking for the playoffs. Not sure if this is a player issue or a coaching problem. The inconsistency and low scoring over the last several games is a concern. We can’t always sit back and say “Bryant will make this” or “the defense will get us the ball back” or “we can convert this 3rd and 8.”

Fierce Falcon

November 30th, 2012
10:30 am

Test…..Go Falcons!

Chris

November 30th, 2012
1:45 pm

Why can’t the offense make points out of turnovers? Same thing happened vs. Broncos….gotta correct some things or going nowhere in the playoffs. Still thrilled at shutting up Drew ‘we own this division’ Brees and sending the bounty-gaters outta the playoffs!!

Th

November 30th, 2012
4:40 pm

Enter your comments here

JoeFann

November 30th, 2012
6:55 pm

I’d give credit to breaking Brees’ streak to Jimmy Graham and Lance Moore. I wasn’t aware that they couldn’t block downfield before a screen pass was caught. (Or did the permanent refs miss one?) You can do that at other levels. Got lucky with Moore. A catch he almost always makes against the Birds. That said, the defense played great! Keep risin’ Birds!

Still Gritz Blitz'n

December 1st, 2012
10:40 am

The predator had to put noodlearm choke breeze on the carpet several time, seemed shook up, his teammates had to turn him around to face the right way in the huddle. O’l Beer-man was in his face all game long, musta’ stretched some noodle in his arm or shoulder, the Birds D’ fly’n high & fast to shake up Breezy like that. Poor Choke Breezy couldn’t fire accurately. His division? Full of crap, ya’ll fly back home, the who da’t nation got somemore eggs for ya’ll.AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!