Atlanta 20, New Orleans 13

Oct. 21, 2001 at 4:52 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Chris Chandler threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns as part of a balanced attack Sunday and the Atlanta Falcons got a big second half from their defense in a 20-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Chandler has always been plagued by injuries, but when healthy is one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. He led the Falcons to the Super Bowl two seasons ago and is making it hard for top overall pick Michael Vick to get playing time.

The 14-year veteran completed 14 of 20 passes, including scoring tosses of 57 yards to rookie tight end Alge Crumpler in the first quarter and 39 to Shawn Jefferson in the final period that snapped a 10-10 tie.

In seven starts for Atlanta against New Orleans, Chandler is 87 of 129 for 1,345 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Led by middle linebacker Keith Brooking, the defense limited the Saints to just a field goal in the second half. Brooking had 10 tackles, a sack and two passes defensed.

Atlanta held New Orleans running back Ricky Williams to 51 yards on 21 carries, including just five on eight after halftime. The Falcons did not allow a second-half third-down conversion until the two-minute warning.

The Saints pulled within 20-13 on a 31-yard field goal by John Carney with 26 seconds left. New Orleans safety Sammy Knight recovered the ensuing onside kick at the New Orleans 43 and a 25-yard pass from Aaron Brooks to Robert Wilson gave the Saints one final chance.

From the Falcons' 32 with two seconds remaining, Brooks threw a high pass into the end zone that was batted down by Atlanta's Brian Finneran, a 6-5 receiver inserted as a defensive back.

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