NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) --
made the most of a second chance.
McAllister, who fumbled into the end zone on the first possession of overtime, ran 23 yards to set up
's 36-yard field goal as the
New Orleans Saints
rallied from a 17-point deficit for a 23-20 victory over the
"I just have to cover up," said McAllister, who also fumbled in the fourth quarter. "I am just thankful that we got another opportunity. I should have gotten it done the first time."
McAllister rushed for a career-high 173 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, his seventh straight game over the century mark. He had 124 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime, including a 58-yard burst up the middle on the opening possession of the extra session.
But McAllister fumbled as he was caught from behind by cornerback
and the Falcons (2-8) recovered in the end zone.
had a chance to beat the Saints in the Superdome on the last play of the game for the second straight year, but came up well short on a 54-yard field goal.
Carney, who converted a 26-yarder with five seconds left in regulation to force overtime, split the uprights with 11:01 to go in overtime to get the Saints (5-5) back to .500.
New Orleans rallied from a 20-3 halftime deficit, its first double-digit comeback at home since overcoming a 10-point deficit to beat the
, 27-24, on October 13, 1996.
"I thought the offense struggled in the first half but they came back in the second half and scored enough to win the game," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "I think that showed a lot of character."
The Saints were forced to play catchup despite a 438-248 edge in total offense.
overcame seven sacks to complete 21-of-37 passes for 228 yards with a pair of interceptions.
"They played their hearts out," Brooks said. "They blitzed us. They bumped over receivers. They played real physical."
was just 8-of-27 for 80 yards for the Falcons, who opened the scoring on
's 15-yard interception return midway through the first quarter.
rushed for 162 yards on 23 carries for Atlanta, including a 40-yard burst in overtime.
"We had more than enough opportunities to put the game away," Kittner said. "The main reason why we didn't win the game today is because of quarterback play and that falls on me."
' interception turned around the game, setting up McAllister's five-yard TD run that pulled the Saints within 20-10 with six minutes left in the third quarter. McAllister's seven-yard TD scamper made it 20-17 2:38 into the final period.
"I an gratified that we won," McAllister added, "but I am definitely disappointed in those two fumbles."