Returning coach given the perfect present in NFL opener.
The New Orleans Saints welcomed coach Sean Payton back after a season-long ban over the pay-for-injury “bounty” scandal with a 23-17 victory over NFC South division rivals Atlanta.
Drew Brees threw for 357 yards and two touchdowns, and the Saints’ defense — which surrendered a record 7,042 yards last season — held the Falcons scoreless over their last four drives.
“It was just important to get the first win,” Payton said. “It’s good to start the season that way. I thought we fought hard, especially late in the game.”
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