New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

The New Orleans Saints are as battle-tested as they come, having won five straight games with back-up quarterback Teddy Bridgewater under center and six overall upon the return of Drew Brees.

So it felt pretty safe to assume the 7-1 Saints, coming off a bye, would extend that streak on Sunday against the 1-7 Falcons.

But that’s why they play the games, first of two match-ups between these heated NFC South rivals.

Falcons defeat the Saints 26-9.

Coming into this game, the Saints were an NFL best 8-2 coming off a bye week under Head Coach Sean Payton dating back to their Super Bowl winning 2009 season.

Instead it was the 1-7 Falcons playing like it was their Super Bowl, preventing the Saints from finding the end zone for the third time this year.

Saints Quarterback Drew Brees says they gave the Dirty Birds an inch and they took a mile.  “Listen. This will always be a game about execution, right? Sometimes the difference between continuing a drive, right? Getting a third down conversion or making that big play is just inches or it’s fractions of a second, right? And so as I look to today, obviously nine points is not what we aspire to score, especially at home.”

Wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith said, “It’s very hard any time you take a loss, especially coming off a bye week. You want to get a win and get back in your groove. Just taking a loss, you’re starting back from square one to win next week. It just bumps you out of your groove, really. That’s all.”

Defensive End Cameron Jordan said, “When you go into a game – surprise may not be the word for it – but when you go into a game against a division opponent, you knew you were going to get all of their best shots. You knew that they were coming in here like this was their Super Bowl. You look at their last eight games and they haven’t fared too well. At the same time, again, we knew we were going to catch all of their best shots and you’ve got to be able to capitalize on stuff. You can’t have these third downs be overturned by penalties each and every time. You can’t have self-inflicted wounds. And at the end of the day, you’ve got to turn this tape on. We’ve got to get better ASAP.”

Head Coach Sean Payton said, “Shame on us if we can’t get those corrections made. But that won’t be a problem. It’s much easier to come in and watch tape after you win, but that’s one of the things about this game that creates a little toughness and grit.”

If there’s any good news that can come out of a game that Brees was sacked six times, which ties a career high, it’s that New Orleans is still in first place atop the NFC South.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports

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