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Atlanta Falcons 27 @ New Orleans Saints 24: Who Dat Say!?

Well, it happened a lot sooner this year than it did last year.  The first loss of the year, heck, any loss of the year always burns my stomach.  

Atlanta came to play and we didn't make enough plays to win.  Both teams had plenty of chances to win or lose the game, and the Falcons made the ones they had to and emerged victorious in overtime.

Let's process this, asess blame (as Ralph said), and then move on to getting it on with the Panters.

Careful, Reggie.  All that jawin' and head shakin' might jostle your fibula, man.

Make the jump to read the post-game flotsam and jetsam...


jeffduncantp Saints officially have a PK problem. RT @Official_Saints: Falcons K Matt Bryant hits 46-yd FG to give Atlanta a 27-24 overtime victory.
jeffduncantp Stunned would be the word I would use to describe the sellout crowd as they file out of the Superdome.
reggie_bush Tough loss for us. We have to get better and learn from our mistakes this game and bounce back next week
jeffduncantp Just talked to Drew Brees in the locker room. He said his left knee is fine. Or more accurately he said his knee "should be fine."
jeffduncantp Asked about Garrett Hartley, Payton was curt: "We're not going to talk personnel, right now."
scottshanle sorry who dat nation we need to play better i need to play better will get it done this week
jeffduncantp RT @miketripletttp: This was believed to be the longest game in Saints history -- by 2 seconds. Previous long: a '91 OT loss to ATL in Nola.
T_Porter22 What's good twit fam...I will be fine they just held me out bc it's a long season and didnt wanna risk anything.
JonVilma51 tough loss today... all we can do is watch the film and get better next week
T_Porter22 Tough loss but even MJ lost..he's still the greatest. We will def bounce back. #whodat
sharper42 Tough loss, we will bounce back.
jeffduncantp Hartley was a stand-up guy in the locker room. Faced the music like a pro. "It was all me. Everything else was great, perfect."
jeffduncantp More Hartley: "When we get the ball down to the 11 we need to walk out of here with the W ... This one's gonna sting and I need to let it."

wwltvsports By the way, Payton said Tracy Porter injured his hamstring. Wouldn't say how badly or who else was injured.

wwltvsports Here's a stat Gregg Williams won't be happy w/ : Gonzalez caught 8 passes, 6 of which were on 3rd/4th down. All converted to a first down.
kelifulton SI's Peter King says the Saints are bringing in kickers this week for workouts. Hartley's leash officially shortened.
Adam_Schefter   Former Saints kicker John Carney will work out for N.O. this week. Saints must decide whether to go with replacement or Garrett Hartley.
jeffduncantp Headed home after a long day. Something tells me this loss is going to haunt the Saints in January when NFC playoff seeds are determined.
miketripletttp Saints are bringing in kicker John Carney for a workout Monday, a league source confirmed
scottshanle sorry who dat nation we need to play better i need to play better will get it done this week
Pierre_Thomas Tough loss today, but we will bounce back like we always do #saints
JeremyShockey East Bound and Down$$$$$$ Better than Sunday Night Football... GIVE THEM A SHOW POWERS!!
LanceMoore16 Tough game today. We will definitely learn from this one and bounce back. Appreciate the love from everyone
HeathEvans Sorry Saints fans...2many mistakes! Great coaches/great players=we will learn from this & be better b/c of it!
jgoody76 Sup tweeps. We missed a lot of opportunities today. Hard to win in this league when you do tha
LanceMoore16 You can tell that neither the Jets or Dolphins wanna lose this game. Gotta love watching good football.
LanceMoore16 Well gonna finish up wathing this game and take it to bed. Hope everyone has a great evening. Check you out tomorrow

reggie_bush Did anybody watch Eastbound & Down tonight? Funny as hell! Lol!    

Almost forgot to post: this what the cut was if u didn't... on Twitpic


Post-Game Reports, Recaps, and News

Rapid Reaction: Falcons 27, Saints 24 - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
Pat Y. - A little Rapid Reaction to Atlanta's 27-24 victory over New Orleans. What it means: A shift in power in the NFC South? Well, it might. 

Sunday Evening Quarterback: New Orleans Saints mistakes add up to loss to Atlanta Falcons

A kick in the head - Falcons over Saints 27-24 | | WWL Sports
Garrett Hartley pulled a potential game winning field goal in overtime while Matt Bryant nailed one a few minutes later to give the Falcons a hard fought 27-24 win over the Saints.

Garrett Hartley's job on the line after New Orleans Saints' OT loss to Atlanta Falcons |
29-yard miss could come back to haunt team down road

New Orleans Saints bringing in kicker John Carney for workout |
Garrett Hartley missed 29-yard FG in overtime

New Orleans Saints' Lance Moore has career game in loss to Atlanta Falcons |

Tony Gonzalez clutch for Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints |
Defense couldn't contain tight end

Saints fall to Falcons 27-24 in OT
New Orleans Saints official website

Saints’ offense isn’t worried about early season output | | WWL Sports
For three out of Sean Payton’s first four years at the helm of the Saints’ ship, his offense has been hard to stop and, in fact, has led the league.

Saints still have confidence in Hartley | | Eye on Black and Gold
Bradley Handwerger - Sunday afternoon, less than an hour after the Saints’ placekicker pushed a game-winning kick left, he stood at his locker and answered away.

New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley may have booted himself out of job |

Moore’s big day is less in Saints loss | | Eye on Black and Gold
Bradley Handwerger - Lance Moore recorded a career-long punt return, set a personal best for yards in a game and scored his longest touchdown as a pro.

Saints defense can’t get off field against Atlanta | | Eye on Black and Gold
Bradley Handwerger - Scott Shanle and Sedrick Ellis both sat at their lockers Sunday more than willing to take the blame for the Saints’ 27-24 overtime loss to Atlanta.

Saints’ have hard time covering Atlanta’s Gonzalez | | Eye on Black and Gold
Bradley Handwerger - Tony Gonzalez entered the Saints’ NFC South showdown as one of the NFL’s best tight ends ever, owning NFL tight end records for catches, yards, touchdowns and 100-yard game among others.

Falcons-Saints battle for NFC South just beginning |
Les East

The New Orleans Saints have put in a lot of overtime in the Superdome lately |
Kevin Spain - Quick notes from Sunday's game.

Saints-Falcons Game Notes |
Justin Macione

NFL Game Center: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints |
Game Capsule - includes recap, statistics, photos, and video highlights.

Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints - Recap -
Includes statistics, AP game recap, play-by-play, drive charts, photos, and video highlights.

GAME BLOG: New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons |
Jude Young's in-game updates.

Atlanta Falcons beat the New Orleans Saints 27-24 in overtime at the Superdome |
Jeff Duncan's in-game updates. Both teams are now 2-1 and tied in the NFC South with Tampa Bay.



Report: NFL has plan if work stoppage occurs |
AP Report on a rumor...


Post-Game Quotes


Head Coach Sean Payton - 

Opening Statement: Obviously, it's a disappointing loss. It's a tough loss. It was a hard fought game. I told this to the team, when you turn it over like we did early on, we give up a big plays, and we fail to convert that kick in overtime like that, it's going to be tough to overcome those things. It's going to be tough to overcome out inability out there on fourth and short to get a yard. It is easy to look at the kick and just point that specific play in overtime, yet there was a reason we were in overtime. The turnovers, something we have done a good job with, we gave up some big plays to guys we were supposed to be doubling in coverage and we can't get off the field late in our run defense and like I alluded to earlier, the missed field goal there in overtime. It's a tough loss. Credit them. They came in and played a real good game. It was a hard fought win for them. It's disappointing. We all, collectively, myself included, have got to get back and do a better job next week. We will watch this tape tomorrow and get our focus on to Carolina next week.

Did you speak with Garrett Hartley and if so, what did you say to him? That wouldn't be for you guys.

When you look at the offense, did you see problems from the last two weeks appear in this game? There were some big plays that we had and yet we are still some problems in short yard situations, we had dropped balls today. There were a couple of penalties. We are not playing our best football. At times, we did some real good things and we just weren't consistent enough, nor were we on defense.

Is there anything you see on why Tight Ends have been able to have so much success against you the past three weeks? This one was different. This one, you wouldn't compare to the last two weeks. He was a lot more involved, targeted on third down. He is a good player. He came up with, especially in the first half, some big receptions early in the game.

Can you talk about the time of possession especially the drive where they had the ball for ten minutes? The game ended up at 37 to 22.5. Obviously, that drive to finish the half took a lot of time off the clock. In the second, it kind of swung a little bit more to a balance. It's a good team. It's a good team offensively and defensively. We couldn't get them off the field in that drive and they ate up a lot of time on that drive also.

Do you think you would have blocked that first field goal in overtime if you had not called a timeout? It was one of those whistle plays, I think. I don't know. I was going to use a timeout. It was pretty simple. We were going to use a timeout and let them kick it again.

Do you feel like your defense was more tired on that last drive? It ended up being a long day. They had a lot of snaps to defend. 67 snaps to be specific. It's a big momentum swing there when you are down in a position at the 11 to win the game and then you are back on defense. Certainly we would have liked to force them to punt at some point. We struggled. We struggled stopping them in the run game, really. It was pretty clear.

What happened to Tracy PorterHe has got a hamstring that got tight.

Did you feel like you missed him? Yeah. I don't know that I'd say that. Certainly, you want your starters out there. I don't know that that is something we would point to. We will see on the tape. We want him healthy.

How did you feel about the performance of Lance MooreI thought he played well. He came up with some big plays for us. He is good inside. We found some throws. He made the big play down the field early in the game which gave us a lead. The other touchdown he had was a little isolation route in the red zone coverage and Drew (Brees) waited on him. It was a good play by him. It was encouraging.

How evident is it that every team is giving you their best shot? I think we got their best shot a year ago when we played them. I don't really pay much attention to that. It's a division game. You are getting someone's best shot in the division. Teams are gunning for us because we are the team that won the division a year ago. I think teams are playing hard, just as they were a year ago when we were 8-0, 9-0, and 10-0. These guys get paid to play and to play in the division.

You said you weren't playing your best football, was that coming in to today or just about today's performance?  No, just watching the game today. Like I said, we are going to have a hard time winning a lot of games if we can't convert third and one, if we give up touchdown passes when we are doubling a receiver, if we can't kick a 16 yard field goal, and we turn it over three times, we are not going to win a lot of games. That's pretty clear.

Did you feel a big shift in momentum in the second quarter? There were probably five or six big shifts in momentum when you look at that game. It went back and forth. Field position was important. We came close to returning that kick for a touchdown and Courtney (Roby) almost sprung one. It did go back and forth. You point to a drive where we are right in the area of the red zone and all of a sudden it ends up being a turnover where they come down and score points from that. That's kind of the way this game is, and there were a lot of momentum swings.

You were a big supporter of Garrett Hartley... We are not going to talk about personnel right now. I think it is a fair question. Last week, he played well. He pulled this kick. Certainly, he has got to play better than that but there are a lot of us that have to do a better job.

K #5 Garrett Hartley

(On missing the 29-yard field goal) "The game came down to a 29-yard field goal and I yanked it left. No ifs or buts about it. It was clearly my mistake. I need to go back to the drawing board. It's the highs and lows of being a kicker. I missed a big kick last year and was able to learn from it. I plan on doing the same thing. I need to get back to kicking the football and not overkicking it like I did today."

(On if it was more mental than physical) "Absolutely. I over thought it I guess. I went over a couple of key points and at the last second it just didn't work out. We have a game next Sunday and I am going to go out there and put the ball through the uprights."

CB #22 Tracy Porter

(On today's game) "We will see those guys again. It's a long season and we are only in week three. We have another opportunity to see those guys down the road. We just need to lick our wounds and come back next week hitting the ground running."

(On his injury) "I tweaked my hamstring a little bit. It is nothing serious. It just grabbed on me and I immediately stopped. I think that I will be fine."

(On Matt Ryan's play today) "They out executed us. They moved the ball down the field and converted on third downs. They did everything that they needed to do to come out with a victory. We missed a field goal in the end, but we could have stopped them on third down throughout the game. It is a game of football. They did what they needed to do and we will see them down the road. We will take this loss, put it behind us and look forward to next week."

CB #27 Malcolm Jenkins

(On today's game) "They did a great job of running the ball, especially that last drive in overtime. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot. We gave up a lot of big plays. On offense, we couldn't get a couple of short yardage. Special teams held up all day except for at the end. We had a lot of opportunities to win this game, but we didn't do what we had to do to get the win."

(On the Falcons game plan of keeping the offense off the field) "We had a simple game plan also, but we didn't execute. They did some things well in executing their game plan and we didn't."

DE #91 Will Smith

(On the inability to get off the field) "The course of the game is not always going to be smooth. You are going to have some ups and downs. We knew that going into it. We knew they were a really good run team and they were going to come in and run the ball. They wanted to keep the ball out of Drew's hands as much as possible. We put ourselves in a lot of good situations with the third and longs. We just couldn't get off the field. Ultimately, that cost us the game."

(On how the team will respond) "We always play Atlanta tough. History will tell you that it always comes down to the end of the game. The game was just as we expected, but we didn't plan on the losing side of things. At the end of the day, we still put ourselves in a position to win the game. We have to focus on that. We know will see a good running team next week. So, we have to hunker down and get off the field on third down."

WR #16 Lance Moore

(On his 72-yard punt return) "Coach Payton wanted it set up for the left hash, so Coach McMahon called for a left return. The guys did a great job of setting that wall for me. That's something that we prepared for this week in practice. I actually made the wrong cut in practice, but made the right cut today. Those guys did a great job of blocking."

(On his 80-yard touchdown reception) "I definitely think it was a blown coverage. There was really no one running with me. The guy was showing (Jeremy) Shockey some respect and let me free. So, all I had to do was catch the ball and run."

QB #9 Drew Brees

(On the missed opportunities) "It's a lot of things. It's not just about missing the field goal at the end. There were a lot of things prior to that had we executed better we wouldn't have even been in that situation. All you ask for is a chance to win at the end. We felt like we did some good things at the end of the game to put ourselves in a position to win. We had three turnovers offensively. Two of those turnovers were by me. That was not like me. I was disappointed in myself. We were 55% on third down conversions. We had some big plays. I felt like we missed some opportunities in some short yardage situations. We need to go back to the drawing board a little bit. The answer is to find a way to win in the end."

(On Lance Moore's play)  "Some days it goes there way and some days it doesn't. Lance is one of my favorite teammates.  He is a playmaker. He is a guy that we want to get opportunities to.  We need to find a way to get this guy the ball. He can do something when he has it. He's a big play guy and you saw that today."



"I told the guys that you've got to fight through adversity to win games in this league. I can't tell you how proud I am of the men in our locker room and the members of our football team. We fought our tails off today. That was a hard fought game. It went well beyond 60 minutes, (it went) almost 75 minutes. I like the effort that our team put out today. I'm very proud of them.

"As I told the guys in the locker room over there, we want to know how our guys appropriately handle victory and defeat. We had an opportunity after week one to see how we handle defeat. We had an opportunity after week two to have victory and adulation. We've got to keep that in mind. It's a long season. Sixteen games is hard fought. The New Orleans Saints are an outstanding football team. We'll have the opportunity to play them again, being a division opponent."

(on winning drive in OT) "Our offensive line did an outstanding job after the missed field goal. We kind of took over control of the line of scrimmage, ultimately that is at the core of what we want to be as a football team. We want to control the line of scrimmage. I thought our guys on the offensive line did a very good job."

(on going for it multiple times on fourth down) "I felt very confident in moving the ball in the drive right before the half. We knew that they were going to get the ball back and receive the opening kickoff in the second half, so we wanted to try and get a touchdown out of that drive. We felt very confident in the offense. During the fourth quarter when it was fourth and six, we were about at the 37-yard line and I felt like we had a play that we had for that situation. We got the match that we wanted and the ball was tipped down at the line of scrimmage. I felt like if you (punt) it in the end zone there, you're only giving up 17 yards of field position. That was the thought process on those situations during the game."

(on 10+ minute drive in second quarter) "I thought that that was not necessarily a turning point, but it was a statement when you talk about controlling the tempo of the football game. That's at the core of what they (the Saints) want to do. They want to control the tempo with all of the groupings and the different looks that they give you on defense. We wanted to basically make sure that we controlled the tempo of the football game. It was hard fought. It was a fun game to be around."

(did he think players knew Saints were calling time out prior to winning FG?) "I think they all knew. They pretty much know (that will happen). Even though the statistics don't say it in terms of icing the kicker, but I still think (a time out) puts a little bit of doubt. I think the statistics show that icing (when) a kicker, they actually make it more than they miss it. Most coaches are going to make that standard operating procedure."

(on play of Matt Ryan) "I know he was well over 200 yards. In the operation of our offense, I thought that he did a very good job. What we were trying to get done in terms of how we were going to sequence our play calling and handle the crowd noise, I thought he did a very, very good job because it's a very loud atmosphere, as you guys know."

(on Michael Turner) "I think Michael has been running the ball really effectively this season. I think a lot of it has to do, sometimes, with who you're playing. I think he's really committed himself in terms of what we're trying to do."


 "This is a huge victory for us. We have a lot of high expectations of ourselves and we fought the entire game to get us in position to win it at the end. This was team win and I am so proud how we converted most third downs. That was a huge factor throughout the game, keeping our drives moving and also running down the clock."

"This is a huge confidence builder for us. And I am glad we were able to execute when we had a chance."


 "It didn't affect me one way or the other that they called time-out before I kicked the first one. I heard the referees blow the whistle right away and it was kind of good to get a rep in."

(on Saints missing chance for game winner in OT) "I mean, you get a shot like that to do your job. And that's what we do for a living in the NFL. I can't comment about what happened to him or to them. But when we had the same chance, I'm glad we were able to make it and get out of here with a victory."


"When we got the ball the second time in the overtime, all we wanted to do was for the offense to put more pressure on their defense. It's a home game for them, and at that point all you're trying to do is to do the right thing. It was great that, when we had a second chance, our team didn't go back out there and make any mental errors.

"This victory means a lot to us. It shows the division that we are going to compete, week in and week out. We are going to go out there and do whatever it takes to win. I'm just so proud of all of these guys today. This is a character win. We have so many good players on our team. The Saints, every time we play them we know its going to be tough because this is a big rivalry."


"Every game is a game of momentum. We just went out there and kept fighting; whether it was during regulation or in overtime. This is a great win for our franchise. We came into a hostile environment and came away with a huge win. And any time you do that, it is really special."

"Every time we play these guys it goes down to the wire. They are a great team and this is a great rivalry. Even both cities got into it this year. In Atlanta, our fans were all fired up all week getting ready for this game."


"To be real honest with you, I thought (Garrett Hartley) was going to make it. To me looking out there, it was a chip shot and I thought the game was over. But hey, when he missed it; we had to go back out there and put together a drive. Our offense went back out there and did what makes us good. I mean, Michael Turner - what a player. You saw in overtime he just made plays and drove us down the field to get us in position to win the game and we did."



Watch this at WWL - Sean Payton

Watch this at WWL - Alex Brown

Watch this at WWL - Jabari Greer

Watch this at WWL - Garrett Hartley

Watch this at WWL - Jahri Evans

Watch this at WWL - Bobby Hebert

Watch this at WWL - Hokie Gajan 

Watch this at WWL - The Point After Show

Watch this at WWL - The Point After Show



V-Roll Roll Call

Postgame Vlog: Falcons 'kick' Saints |
B A-W and Les East discuss the game.

Garrett Hartley says he has to go back to work

Jabari Greer says the Saints have work to do

New Orleans Saints receiver Lance Moore on his big game

New Orleans Saints' Jahri Evans leads 'Who Dat' chant
Saints coach Sean Payton on the tough loss to Atlanta
New Orleans Saints receiver Lance Moore on his big game