NEW ORLEANS — Sean Payton’s return to the sideline is one game old and already the Saints are celebrating a dramatic victory over a presumed title contender.
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They’re alone in first place, too.
Drew Brees passed for 357 yards and two scores, Roman Harper intercepted Matt Ryan’s tipped fourth-down pass in the end zone, and New Orleans held on for a 23-17 victory over the Falcons on Sunday.
“I was hoping our defence would pull one out, and man, did they ever,” Brees said.
Last season, while suspended in connection with the NFL’s bounty probe, Payton watched helplessly from afar as the Saints fielded one of the worst defences ever, yielding a single-season record 7,042 yards. One of his first moves upon reinstatement was to hire Rob Ryan as defensive co-ordinator.
Payton put the…
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