Atlanta began the game well and their offense looked in sync. Tony Gonzalez, who recently missed a pre-season practice to spend time with his son, showed his experience as he opened the scoring for the visitors by hauling in a seven-yard pass from quarterback Matt Ryan.
The Falcons continued their dominance on offense after a defensive stand but could not find the endzone, and Matt Bryant was forced to kick a 23-yard field goal. The Saints responded minutes later with a field goal of their own from Garrett Hartley to make the score 10-3.
Ryan's offense continued to look good and he hit Julio Jones over the middle for what would have been a big gain, but the receiver was stripped of the ball and safety Roman Harper recovered to run his side into a good field position.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees took full advantage and drew his side level with a lovely throw to Marques Colston down the middle of the seam for a 25-yard touchdown, while Hartley added the extra point.
Hartley added another field goal to his tally to give his side the lead just before the break.