By Herbie Teope - Around the NFL Writer | NFL.com
The New Orleans Saints (10-1) tightened their grip on the NFC South by picking up their 10th straight win in a 31-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons (4-7) on Thanksgiving Night. Here's what we learned from the game:
1. Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore pointed out Tuesday in the locker room that the first game between these two teams was a long time ago. The message? This Saints defense isn't the same unit that allowed 37 points to the Falcons in Week 2.
The Saints defense set the tone in the first half, limiting Atlanta's ground game to 12 yards rushing on eight carries and making the Falcons one dimensional by jumping out to 17-3 halftime lead. The Saints totaled a season-high six sacks in a single game, garnered 13 quarterback hits, recovered three fumbles and notched an interception.
Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins led the defensive charge by recording his seventh sack of the season. He has a three-game streak with at least one sack. Saints free safety Marcus Williams arguably came up with the defensive play of the game when he recovered the fumble off his own strip-sack to turn back the Falcons deep in Saints territory. ...
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