Taysom Hill rushed for two touchdowns and the host New Orleans Saints won their seventh consecutive game by defeating the Atlanta Falcons 24-9 on Sunday afternoon.
Hill made his first NFL start at quarterback as Drew Brees began at least a three-game absence due to rib and lung injuries. Hill completed 18 of 23 passes for 233 yards and had scoring runs of 2 and 10 yards among his team-high 51 rushing yards as the NFC South-leading Saints improved to 8-2.
New Orleans plays its next three games on the road, including a rematch with the Falcons in two weeks.
Alvin Kamara added a rushing touchdown and All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas caught nine of Hill’s passes for 104 yards.
The Saints sacked Matt Ryan eight times, including three by Cameron Jordan and two each by fellow end Trey Hendrickson and tackle David Onyemata, as the Falcons fell to 3-7 overall and 3-2 under interim head coach Raheem Morris.
Ryan completed 19 of 37 passes for 232 yards with two interceptions and Atlanta managed just three field goals by Younghoe Koo. The Falcons finished with just 248 total yards and did not score in the second half.
The Saints led 10-9 at halftime and Hill’s 2-yard touchdown run on fourth down at the end of the first possession of the third quarter increased the lead to 17-9.
That was all the scoring in the third quarter, but Hill scrambled 10 yards for a touchdown that gave the Saints a 24-9 lead with 12:41 remaining in the game.
New Orleans was in scoring position again, but Hill lost a fumble at the end of a 20-yard run.
The Falcons drove to Koo’s 28-yard field goal on the first possession of the game.
Hill marched the Saints to Wil Lutz’s 22-yard field goal that tied the score late in the first quarter.
Koo made kicks of 51 yards and 52 yards to give Atlanta a 9-3 lead in the second quarter.
Kamara’s 3-yard touchdown run gave New Orleans a 10-9 halftime lead.