Photos: Saints 23 Falcons 17

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  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Roman Harper scoops up an Atlanta fumble in the secord quarter as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Marques Colston pulls in a second} quarter touchdown ahead of Atlanta's Akeem Dent as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- After a defensive stand, Coach Sean Payton talks with Tyrunn Walker and Junior Galette as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez celebrates a first quarter touchdown as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Roman Harper runs back an Atlanta fumble in the second quarter as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Kenny Vaccaro talks with Coach Sean Payton as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints linebacker Junior Galette (93), bottom, and New Orleans Saints defensive end Tyrunn Walker (75) sack Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) fumbles the ball, recovered by New Orleans Saints strong safety Roman Harper (41) during the second quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The turnover led to a Saints score.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) warma up before a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem, right, watches New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) warm up before a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem warms up before a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, second from left, celebrates the Saints interception at the end of the game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Sean Payton walks the sidelines in the fourth quarter as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills (84) runs for an 67 yard pass reception in the first half with Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) in pursuit in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) grabs at New Orleans Saints strong safety Roman Harper (41) after he received a fumble in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) signs copies of the New Orleans Advocate before play in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills (84) get con grads from New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore (16) after he made a 67 yard pass reception and run in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Saints tight end Jimmy Graham scores as Atlanta Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud can't catch up in September in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Jimmy Graham celebrates his third quarter touchdown as the New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Roman Harper, center, celebrates his game sealing interception of a tip ball as the New Orleans Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates his third quarter touchdown in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) is swarmed by the Saints defense in the fourth quarter in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Pierre Thomas runs hard in the third quarter over Atlanta's Desmond Trufant as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is dragged to the ground by New Orleans Saints defensive end Kenyon Coleman (99) as Atlanta Falcons tackle Sam Baker (72) grabs him in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) hauls in a pass in the third quarter for a first down as Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore (25) can't get to him in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans Saints strong safety Roman Harper (41) celebrates his game ending interception with New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates a first down in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston (12) makes a a touchdown in the first quarter in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Longtime Saints announcer Jerry Romig, right, is overcome with emotion as he is recognized before the game against Atlanta with his wife, Janice Romig, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson, right, watches as New Orleans Saints strong safety Roman Harper (41) makes his entrance against Atlanta Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) fumbles the ball, which was recovered by New Orleans Saints strong safety Roman Harper (41) during the second quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) fumbles the ball, which was recovered by New Orleans Saints strong safety Roman Harper (41) during the second quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) makes a 22-yard catch against Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore (25) during the third quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) makes a fingertip catch for a touchdown against Atlanta during the third quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Falcons receiver Roddy White has his helmet spun around by Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints strong safety Roman Harper (41) intercepts a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints safety Roman Harper intercepts a pass intended for Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez during the final minute Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints players celebrate New Orleans Saints strong safety Roman Harper (41) interception of a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) grinds out some third quarter yards as he is hit by Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore (25) in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton argues a call in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan watches the clock in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas (23) grinds out some yard in the third quarter before being hit by Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore (25)in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) walks off the field victorious in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Saints coach Sean Payton walks off the field after beating the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Steve Gleason greets New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews plays the national anthem in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews plays the national anthem in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Steve Gleason greets Troy "Trombone Shorty" in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews plays the national anthem in a NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) is stopped for no gain by the Atlanta defense on a fourth-and-1 during the first quarter Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56), left, celebrates after New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) was stopped for no gain by the Atlanta defense on a fourth and one during the first quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, left, is dragged to the turf by Saints defensive tackle Akiem Hicks during the teams' Sept. 8 season opener at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Ryan and the Falcons host the Saints on Thursday in the Georgia Dome.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Coach Sean Payton and former Saint Steve Gleason lead the "Who Dat" cheer before the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- during the first quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Atlanta coach Mike Smith, left, yells after quarterback Matt Ryan was shaken up on a late hit by Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro in September at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) scores against New Orleans Saints outside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) during the first quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans cornerback Keenan Lewis hits Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas, causing a fumble, during the first quarter of the Saints' 23-17 win Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Roman Harper pulls in an interception in the end zone on a pass that was tipped by Tony Gonzalez in the fourth quarter as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Coach Sean Payton and former Saint Steve Gleason lead the "Who Dat" cheer before the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Marques Colston pulls in a second} quarter touchdown ahead of Atlanta's Akeem Dent as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Mark Ingram looks for room against Jonathan Massaquoi as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Drew Brees throw as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Drew Brees leaves the field after the Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Drew Brees recovered from a sack as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Drew Brees looks downfield as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Piere Thomas fights for yardage as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) signs copies of the New Orleans Advocate before play in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Mark Ingram looks for room against Jonathan Massaquoi as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas (23) pushes off Atlanta Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann (71) as he eludes a host of defenders for some second quarter yardage in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Saints receiver Kenny Stills (84) get congratulations from receiver Lance Moore after his 67-yard reception against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Roman Harper, center, celebrates his win-sealing interception of a tip ball as the Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) grinds out some third quarter yards as he is hit by Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore (25) in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Saints running back Mark Ingram takes a hit by Falcons safety William Moore at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) makes a fingertip catch for a touchdown against Atlanta during the third quarter Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

  • Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Saints tight end Jimmy Graham celebrates his third quarter-touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The Saints take the field before facing the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Drew Brees recovered from a sack as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  • Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Drew Brees was sacked twice, this time by Peria Jerry as the New Orleans Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, September 8, 2013.