Bijan Robinson, Jessie Bates III will Falcons to win over Saints

NFL: SEP 17 Packers at Falcons

The Falcons came into Sunday’s contest against the Saints needing a win in the worst way.

New Orleans had the opportunity to take a commanding lead in the division, which would’ve put Atlanta three games under .500 and likely out of the playoff race.

Bijan Robinson and Jessie Bates III had other ideas. The pair led the Falcons to a victory, which puts the club atop the division.

Robinson had one of the best games of his young career, getting in the endzone twice. The rookie star finished with 91 yards on 16 carries and 32 yards on three receptions, notching a score through the air and on the ground.

Bates also scored a touchdown via a 92-yard pick-six. Early in the game with a 3-0 lead, Derek Carr led the Saints down the field, looking to extend the lead to double digits. Bates jumped a route, which he credits to all the work he and the coaches put in during the week.

“I’ve seen 22-motion, and it’s simply film study, and all the extra meetings that we do, all our coaches with the cut-ups,” Bates said after the game. “I give all the props to them, and it’s just me just checking gangster and making the play. It’s a play that they ran, they’ve shown on film, and I took advantage of it and got my fourth one, for a touchdown, too. So very special moment for me, for sure.”

To say Jessie Bates has been a home run free agent signing would be an understatement. Not only did he score on the interception, but when it looked like the Saints were going take the lead in the third quarter, Bates punched the ball out of Taysom Hill’s hands, which Albert Huggins recovered.

It was 14-12 and at a critical juncture in the game. The former Bengals safety has come up time and time again throughout the season. Without him, the Falcons could be looking at a record of 3-8 and thinking about draft position rather than the postseason. Bates finished with a game-high 12 tackles, a pass breakup, two quarterback pressures, a forced fumble, and an interception returned for a touchdown.

The Falcons needed this win badly, and their stars showed up when they needed them most.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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