The Atlanta Falcons overcame an early 7-0 deficit to beat the Saints, 45-32, in New Orleans on Monday Night Football.
“It was a tough game,” Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I’ve always told people division games on the road are probably the hardest games to win.”
Matt Ryan was an efficient 20-of-30 for 240 yards and two touchdowns.
“Matt was on point today,” Freeney said. “He was throwing the ball left and right, getting rid of the ball and even running the ball. So he was everything. The offense was clicking. Hats off to that offensive line, which did a great job. They scored a lot of points and really helped our defense out.”
Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, meanwhile, were unstoppable. Freeman rushed 14 times for 152 yards and had a team-high five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. Coleman rushed for 42 yards and three touchdowns and had three catches for 47 yards.
“We have a lot of talent on this team,” Freeney said. “It’s going to be real hard for some defenses out there to really figure out what we’re going to do because we can do so much.”
Atlanta’s defense was solid as well. Drew Brees threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw a back-breaking 90-yard pick-six early in the fourth quarter that gave Atlanta a 45-25 lead. He was also sacked twice – once courtesy of Freeney.
“It’s so hard to get Drew Brees down,” Freeney said. “He understands where the pressure’s coming from and he gets rid of the ball. So when you have a quarterback like that that is that skilled, you just got to figure out you’re not going to get there every time. You just got to be keep trucking along and keep trying to get pressure on him and one of these times he’s going to hold on to the ball.”
Atlanta (2-1), which has won back-to-back games on the road, hosts Carolina (1-2) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
Freeney, 36, has become an ageless wonder. His best years were in Indianapolis, but he’s been productive for the Chargers, Cardinals and Falcons in recent years.
He’s also loving his time in Atlanta.
“It’s a great city, great people,” he said. “These guys are ready to win and I feel it every day I walk into that locker room. We got out there today and we got it done.”