In what was one of the best regular season wins of my lifetime as a Saints fan, the Saints held on to beat bitter rival and previously undefeated Atlanta Falcons 31-27 in the Superdome. The win raises the Saints' record to 4-5 (dammit if they had only beaten KANSAS CITY!!!!!) but more importantly gives us hope as we know they can beat anyone on any given Sunday. The defense is still not anywhere close to "good", but in this game they did a fantastic job stopping the run, generating a semblance of a pass rush with the front four, and playing excellent red zone defense much like last week. The Saints now have a fantastic shot at going 5-5 next week as they play a woeful Raiders team without Darren McFadden. Make the jump for my bullets on the game.
- The Saints are still getting beat vertically all too often, but at least this time it wasn't players running wide open as much. Many of the long passes were contested, the Falcons just made good plays.
- Michael Turner had 13 carries for 15 yards. His few goal line carries were all stopped dead in their tracks. Monster performance by the defense at the line of scrimmage. Broderick Bunkley in particular could not be moved in the trenches.
- Up and down game for former Falcon Curtis Lofton. At times he was beaten in coverage, other times got the Saints off the field with a 3rd down break up. At times he made tackles around the line of scrimmage, at times poor in play recognition.
- The Saints' offense was on fire at the end of the 1st half, but they had numerous opportunities to kill the game and couldn't do it. Letting the Falcons hang around forced the defense to come up with stops.
- Those two goal line stands by the Saints' defense were magical. Unreal stops. Fantastic run defense and good coverage. Color me shocked.
- Chris Ivory had a massive touchdown run, once again begging the question why he hasn't played sooner. What an incredible run.
- Mark Ingram was running very well as well. Obviously they carried over their effort from the Eagles game which was great to see.
- Charles Brown held up beautifully at right tackle. With him in, Greg Olsen came in as the jumbo tight end on numerous occasions. He had a stupid penalty but otherwise gave the Saints a lot of physicality in the run.
- I'm still frustrated with Jimmy Graham for that sequence where he had a false start and then ANOTHER dropped pass on 3rd down, but it's hard to stay mad when he turns in a performance like that. It was unreal. 7 catches, 146 yards, 2 touchdowns. Wow.
- Devery Henderson had a monster block on Ivory's TD run, but also had 2 drops and no receptions. One was a high deep ball that could've been thrown better, but the second was a gimme pass on a 3rd down. That was a killer drop.
- Lance Moore had an outstretched one handed circus catch over the middle that was just unbelievable.
- For most of the first three quarters the Saints' offensive and defensive lines dominated the game. While the Falcons repeatedly exposed the Saints' secondary, the winner was deserving in this one because I really felt like the Saints dominated the line of scrimmage and beat up the Falcons in the trenches.
- Thomas Morstead had a monster game. 50 yards per punt and yielded only 9 return yards on 3 returns. Credit fantastic coverage, too. If Morstead isn't headed to the Pro Bowl after this kind of season then it's never happening. Just incredible.
- That Garrett Hartley make from 31 was HUGE. He doesn't make that, and the Saints lose, because all the Falcons would need is a field goal on that last drive. He should always make that, yes, but don't lie you were nervous.
That's all I got. What a fantastic win against a very good team. Bring on the Raiders for a chance to get back to .500! Who would have thought after starting 0-4?
Btw, I find it strange I am now looking at the league and actually seeing some sort of chance for the wildcard spot.
Also... The saints are the only team above .500 within the NFC south! (Loosing to the only team who are below .500 #sigh)
@JamesMorse Read what I wrote more carefull ;-) Within the NFC south. Saints are .667
...A win is a win & this win was extremely satisfying. I absolutely loathe Roddy White & now my feelings toward Asante Samuel are nearly equal to that of R.W.. Nearly. ;) Let's hope we can continue this winning streak! When is the last time we actually WON a damn reg. season game out West, Andrew?
Is it just me or Carmichael's playcalling is too predictable and that is why it's mostly for our advantage to not have some of the playmakers on the field? Remember games without Lance Moore, J.Graham and now Sproles - that were realy effective offensive performances. Like it is the only way Pete implement something new.. That's just bothers me a bit, I miss Sean Payton..Still great to see Spagnoulo find his ways to stop bleeding, defence is realy making some nice plays as of late. Wondering if C.White lifted his game and won't be a liability for the rest of the year.
And what a feeling it is to screw Atlanta's chances to the perfect season! WHO DAT!
Second half was not as good as the first half. The difference was the running. Falcons might have had a better answer then in the first half. But still if you pass every time on 3rd down and don;t run it at 3rd and 2... You kinda tell the defense you are gonna throw again!
And Ivory was great! He is the kind of back that can go 1000 yards a season easy. His security problems are the reason he was not in sooner. So far no fumbles.
Gramham indeed had a drop again. But he also had 3 (at least 2) catches for a first down at 3rd down. So I think in this game he made up for it.
Is this Hendersons 3rd game without a catch? I think they are kinda making him less productive to keep his price low. Get him to block well. And on the other hand.. If you have no tape on him running routes you can get him out for a big play (if brees can connect to him next time)
What is more unbelievable about Lance Moore his catch... He is only 5 feet tall!
After these 2 games... I think it can be said. It is good to have Vitt back! The Jumbo tight end thing.. were we not screaming for that a couple of weeks ago?
@MarijnPessers ...I'm definitely a bit disappointed w/ Devery. He catches that 3rd-down pass & we @ least extend that drive to have a chance @ 3-pts.. For whatever reason the Saints STILL don't have that closing 'killer instinct' on offense. That's why I can't gripe about the D. that much b/c in my eyes, they're responsible for preserving our 4-wins. Figure THAT~1 out! Regardless, Saints WON!!! ***WHO-DAT'?!!!***