On a day where the New Orleans Saints honored former special teams ace Steve Gleason, the Saints paid tribute to the former star on the field with a game-changing play against the previously unbeaten Atlanta Falcons that paid tribute to their hero.
The Saints were 1-4 and underdogs against the 5-0 Atlanta Falcons, but after a Mark Ingram TD and a strong defensive effort the Falcons were forced to punt late in the first quarter.
That was when ST Michael Mauti reminded the Falcons why they should never punt in the Superdome with a block that was returned for a TD – reminiscent of another famous play in Saints lore.
The city of New Orleans was uplifted a legendary punt block by Steve Gleason against the Falcons in 2006 following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the re-opening of the Superdome. Gleason was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 and his fight against the disease has been inspiring to the Saints and the city of New Orleans as well.
Prior to the game a statue of Gleason’s famous punt block was unveiled outside the stadium and he was in the crowd to watch the stunning play.
It was also a huge day for veteran TE Ben Watson, who set a career high with 127 receiving yards including a dagger of a TD in the third quarter that gave the Saints an insurmountable 17-point lead.
Two fourth quarter TDs from Devonta Freeman proved to be insufficient to overtake the Saints on a truly special night.
The Saints moves to 2-4 on the season but still have plenty of ground to cover in the division with several games behind both the 5-1 Falcons and the 4-0 Carolina Panthers.