There become no extra surprising result in the NFL this week than the one-seize Atlanta Falcons marching into New Orleans and looking out down the one-loss Saints in the Superdome.
A Dapper Bowl participant factual three years ago, Atlanta has since fallen on laborious times, shuffling around the instructing workers in newest days — a switch identical to rearranging the deck chairs on the Mammoth — to absorb the flexibility to set apart Dan Quinn’s camouflage. At 1-7, the Falcons’ season seemed lost, whereas in New Orleans, the 7-1 Saints, with Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara relief in the saddle, seemed rejuvenated.
And but, when the field-turf an identical of dirt settled contained in the Superdome on Sunday afternoon, Atlanta become victorious — and in a landslide. The Falcons crushed the Saints, 26-9, becoming the main group to procedure terminate New Orleans below 10 parts in its constructing for the length of the Drew Brees generation.
“They beat us neatly in all three areas, they played better than us. Snatch a dwelling and there is a correct chance they won that dwelling,” Saints coach Sean Payton mentioned after the game. “Third down, they had been better on both facets of the ball. Penalties, they had been better. So collectively, now we absorb got to attain a greater job. That starts with me.”
Coming off their bye, the Saints enjoyed one other mountainous game from Michael Thomas (13 receptions, 152 yards), but had been in any other case outclassed by a Falcons group that had struggled to terminate any one and each person for the length of the main half of the season.
Atlanta sacked Brees six times on Sunday; the Falcons had factual seven on the season coming into the game. New Orleans committed a uncharacteristically high 12 penalties and performed factual 3-for-12 on third down. Kamara, the Saints’ attain-every thing relief, did next to nothing on the bottom, held to 24 speeding yards on factual four carries.
All the pieces about Sunday’s defeat stunned Saints gamers, coaches and onlookers alike. But Payton is now not in fact fretting over his aspect’s surprising loss, no longer with seven video games to lunge in a season light teeming with Dapper Bowl aspirations.
“It be extra or less one of those … or no longer it’s miles no longer a lesson, but this league is simply too correct week-to-week where you are going to have the flexibility to lunge in and no longer be centered and ready,” Payton mentioned. “This has continuously been a game that’s continuously played with emotion and I conception they outplayed us. They outplayed us, they outcoached us and they need to seize.”
Up next for the Saints are extra division competitors; New Orleans plays Tampa Bay, Carolina and then Atlanta again over the subsequent three weeks.
For the Saints to dwell advance the highest of the NFC playoff image (and the South), they’re going to pray to rebound and uncover handsome in opposition to teams that know them superb. As New Orleans realized Sunday, info don’t matter when competitors advance to city.