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NEW ORLEANS 45 ATLANTA 17

Blowout Deepens Falcons' Misery

October 20, 2003|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — Arthur Blank already has written one letter of apology. It might be time to fire off another one.

For the second time in six days, Blank's Atlanta Falcons were thoroughly humiliated, this time losing to the New Orleans Saints, 45-17, on Sunday.

Aaron Brooks threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, Deuce McAllister scored twice and the Saints finished with 507 yards, doing pretty much anything they wanted.

"I'm very, very disappointed in our performance," said Blank, the Falcons' second-year owner. "You want to have a team the fans can be proud of. Obviously, this team is not playing well."

On Monday night, the Falcons (1-6) were blown out, 36-0, by St. Louis -- a performance that prompted Blank to send a letter to the president of ABC.

"I told him I was sorry we didn't do a better job," Blank said. "When you're on a platform like 'Monday Night Football,' you want to put a game on. You want a team that's competitive."

Competitive? That's not the Falcons. They fell behind the Saints, 35-14, at the half -- giving up a staggering 369 yards in the first two quarters.

New Orleans (3-4) won its second in a row, though it's hard to tell whether the Saints turned a corner. Brooks completed 23 of 30 passes. McAllister ran for 116 yards. Joe Horn caught eight passes for 133 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown.

Atlanta has lost six in a row since a season-opening victory at Dallas. And the Falcons aren't just losing -- they're getting embarrassed. During the losing streak, they have surrendered 34.5 points a game.

With Michael Vick still recovering from a broken leg, the Falcons gave third-string quarterback Kurt Kittner his first pro start.

Kittner looked like a third-stringer, completing nine of 29 passes for 115 yards. He did throw his first career touchdown pass, an 18-yarder to Brian Finneran.

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