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NFL: New Orleans 23, Atlanta 17

Sept. 8, 2013 at 5:02 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Drew Brees amassed 357 passing yards and the New Orleans defense dominated down the stretch Sunday in the Saints' season-opening 23-17 win over Atlanta.

Brees, who completed 26-of-35 passes, connected with Jimmy Graham on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 6:22 left in the third quarter to put the Saints ahead for good.

The defense took over from there, stopping the Falcons without a point in their last four drives as New Orleans (1-0) won in the return of Coach Sean Payton to the sidelines after a yearlong suspension in connection with the Saints' "bounty" scandal.

Darren Sproles made six catches for 88 yards and Marques Colston added five receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown for New Orleans.

Atlanta (0-1) was led by Matt Ryan, who went 25-of-38 through the air for 304 yards, two touchdowns and a key late-game interception.

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