The formula for the Atlanta Falcons to snap their 12-game road losing streak on Monday Night Football was to win on the ground. And the Falcons' rushing attack made it look easy against the New Orleans Saints' defense.
Devonta Freeman had 152 rush yards, one short of his career high. Freeman had a career-high 112 yards before contact, including 47 on his career-long 48-yard rush late in the fourth quarter.
Tevin Coleman had three touchdowns on 12 rushes. Entering the game, he had two touchdowns on 107 career rushes. He is the third Falcons player in the past 10 seasons to have three rushing touchdowns in a game, along with Michael Turner and Devonta Freeman.
All three of Coleman’s touchdowns on Monday occurred against a loaded box (meaning there were more defenders than available blockers). He is the third player to have three rushing touchdowns in a game against a loaded box in the past five seasons (Matt Forte, Devonta Freeman).
The Falcons dominated this one outside the tackles, totaling 105 yards on nine such rushes. They had 11 runs outside the tackles for 23 yards in their first two games this season.
This was the fourth time in Falcons history that they averaged at least seven yards per rush, rushing the ball at least 30 times, the first since 2008 Week 17 against the St. Louis Rams.
It’s also the fourth time in Saints history that they allowed an average of at least seven yards per rush to an opponent that rushed at least 30 times, the first time since 2012 Week 17 against the Carolina Panthers.
It was a good night to be a fantasy owner of either Falcons running back. Freeman and Coleman became the first running back tandem to each score at least 25 fantasy points in the same game since Priest Holmes and Derrick Blaylock did so against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2004.