John Kasay hit a 26 yard field in overtime to give the Saints a 26-23 win over division rival Atlanta in the Gerogia Dome Sunday afternoon.
After both teams punted on the opening possessions of overtime, the Saints capitalized on a gamble by the Falcons. Falcons coach Mike Smith decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 from their own 29 yard line. Atlanta running back Michael Turner was stuffed by the Saints defensive line and lost yardage on the play.
"When they go for it, its a significant play." said Saints head coach Sean Payton, "And so its not really a matter of what I'm hoping for. It's what we're seeing them do and us reacting, and defending or returning a punt. But I can certainly understand the thought behind fourth and a half yard in that type of game."
Payton coached from the sideline for the first time in three games since his knee surgery. Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns on 30-of-43 passing. The Saints held a 23-13 lead in the fourth quarter, but allowed the Falcons back in the game, when Matt Ryan threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez with 4:13 left in regulation. Falcons kicker Matt Bryant hit a 27 yard field goal as the clock expired in the fourth quarter to send it to overtime tied at 23.
The Saints improved to 7-3 and retain first place in the NFC South.