NEW ORLEANS—What a difference a year makes.
The defending Super Bowl champion Saints committed three turnovers, and Garrett Hartley missed a 29 yard field goal in overtime, as the Falcons beat the Saints 27-24 Sunday at the Superdome.
Hartley said he "overthought" the potential game winning overtime kick. Said Hartley, "came down to a 29 yard field goal and I just yanked it left. No ifs and or buts about it. It was cleary my mistake and back to the drawing board. Highs and lows of being a kicker. And it stinks."
Hartley missed two field goals wide left in the season opening win over Minnesota. Last season Hartley missed only two field goal attempts all season. He was 5 for 5 in the postseason, including the game winning kick over the Vikings in the NFC championship game.
With the win, Atlanta, 2-1, took the lead in the NFC South.
Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes, including an 80 yarder to Lance Moore. But, Brees also threw two interceptions. Brees' second quarter interception was critical. The Saints were leading 14-7 and driving. Brees, on the way to the ground, flipped a pass aimed at tight end Jimmy Graham. It was intercepted by Thomas DeCoud at the Atlanta 28.
The Falcons then drove 19 plays, 72 yards. Michael Turner scored on a one yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14.
Atlanta rushed 50 times for 202 yards. The Saints, 2-1, without Reggie Bush, rushed 16 times for 43 yards.