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Vick gives Saints a sick feeling

©Associated Press
October 28, 2002

NEW ORLEANS -- Michael Vick felt sick on Atlanta's final possession.

That didn't stop him from leading the Falcons to their third straight victory.

Vick drove Atlanta in the closing minutes Sunday, setting up Jay Feely's winning field goal. Feely kicked a 47-yarder as time expired, giving the Falcons a 37-35 win over the Saints.

"He's elusive and he's a heck of a football player," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "He sure is a talent."

After Deuce McAllister ran 16 yards for a score to put the Saints up 35-34 with 2:20 left, Vick took control.

He took himself out after the Falcons reached the Saints' 29. He said a Saints player hit his left thumb earlier in the quarter and it was swelling. His left shoulder also was bothering him, and he felt nauseous.

"I took myself out because I didn't want to vomit on the field," Vick said. "It's nothing."

Vick, the second-ranked passer in the NFC, completed 16 of 24 passes for 195 yards. He rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns, including a 32-yard score in the fourth quarter and was sacked three times.

Former Buc Warrick Dunn, who entered with 160 yards rushing on the season, gained 142 and scored a touchdown, but his second fumble set up McAllister's go-ahead TD.

Atlanta outrushed the Saints 260-159.

"It was good to get into the flow," Dunn said. "It was just a matter of getting the opportunity to play big."

Atlanta harried Vick's cousin, Aaron Brooks, all game. Brooks completed 16 of 35 for 192 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

"On film we saw Brooks was most successful when dropping back, so he has time to read the defense," Falcons cornerback Ray Buchanan said. "We played man-to-man and rushed guys in his face."

McAllister had 115 yards on 17 carries and scored twice.

The Falcons converted 7-of-11 third downs (64 percent) and allowed only 2-of-8 (25 percent).

Brooks and Vick, who grew up in Newport News, Va., had never faced each other.

"I told him there's going to be lots more of these, man," Vick said. "It was fun playing against him. He brings out the best in me, and I bring out the best in him."

With New Orleans up 10-7 in the first half, McAllister'S 61-yard touchdown was called back on a holding penalty. Four plays later, he fumbled after a 9-yard run, setting the Falcons up on their 30-yard line.

Atlanta then took a 14-10 lead on Dunn's 3-yard scoring run.

Brooks threw his second interception to open the third quarter, setting Bob Christian's 8-yard scoring run that put Atlanta up 21-10.

New Orleans came back and took a 25-24 lead into the fourth quarter on Joe Horn's 6-yard touchdown reception.

It didn't last long. Atlanta opened the fourth with a 32-yard field goal to make it 27-25.

Vick stretched the lead to 34-25 with 5:57 left on a 32-yard touchdown run. John Carney kicked a 40-yard field goal on third down with 3:33 left to cut Atlanta's lead to 34-28.

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