The sooner we get through all this postgame coverage, the sooner we can start slogging through the next 10 days until the Saints get to play again.
Let's take our medicine and try to keep some hope alive...for the sake of the children.
** And feel free to share your initial reactions, second thoughts and commentary on the game in the comment section below! **
New Orleans Saints Fall to Atlanta Falcons in Primetime Contest, 23-13 | neworleanssaints.com
Brees Throws 5 INTs and sees his NFL record of consecutive games with a TD pass come to an end at 54.
New Orleans Saints Postgame Notes | neworleanssaints.com
QB Drew Brees' NFL-record streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass came to an end at 54.
Drew Brees' five picks cost New Orleans Saints as Falcons win 23-13 | NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan - Brees' TD pass streak ends as playoff hopes fade.
New Orleans Saints 13, Atlanta Falcons 23 - GAMEHQ | ESPN.com
Recap, box score, play-by-play, drive charts, photos, and highlights.
New Orleans Saints 13, Atlanta Falcons 23 - GAME CENTER | NFL.com
Watch video of the game, buy tickets, get stats & depth charts, game highlights, analysis, recap, and discuss with other NFL fans!
Saints-Falcons Photo Gallery | NOLA.com
Action photos from the Saints game against the Falcons in Atlanta Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.
Saints at Falcons Official Team Photo Gallery | neworleanssaints.com
Michael C. Hebert
Saints vs Falcons coverage
Saints vs Falcons box score
From the Saints Sideline
New Orleans Saints will regret Thursday's loss to Atlanta Falcons more than any other in 2012: First take | NOLA.com
Mike Triplett - Saints squandered opportunity to stay alive in playoff hunt.
New Orleans Saints have to eat their words after rare loss to Atlanta Falcons: First-and-10 | NOLA.com
Mike Triplett - Ten more observations from Saints 23-13 loss to heated rival Falcons.
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: How the game was lost | NOLA.com
Katherine Terrell - Five turnovers did the Saints in.
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: Did you see? | NOLA.com
Katherine Terrell - Missed opportunities headlined the New Orleans Saints night against the Atlanta Falcons.
New Orleans Saints' loss to Atlanta Falcons is on Drew Brees | NOLA.com
Jeff Duncan - Franchise quarterback threw five picks as TD streak comes to an end.
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: Grading the offense | NOLA.com
Zero fleur de lis out of four.
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: Grading the defense | NOLA.com
Doug Tatum - Four fleur de lis out of four.
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: Grading the special teams | NOLA.com
Doug Tatum - Two fleur de lis out of four.
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: Grading the coaching | NOLA.com
Doug Tatum - One fleur de lis out of four.
Saints can't overcome Brees' poor night, fall 23-13 to Falcons | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger - New Orleans’ defense did everything it could to keep the Saints in Thursday night’s critical NFC showdown with rival Atlanta. Drew Brees did everything he could to give the game away to the Falcons.
Brees has turned human in this craziest of seasons | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger - Drew Brees stood in front of his locker, brown leather bag in front of him neatly packed, suit jacket crisply falling off his shoulders.
Picked apart | The Advocate
Sheldon Mickles - The NFC South, at least for this season, belongs to the Atlanta Falcons. Well, almost.
Drew Brees has night to forget | The Advocate
Ted Lewis - He’s lifted up his teammates on both sides of the ball so many times over the last seven years.
Falcons get running game going early | The Advocate
Sheldon Mickles - After rushing for just 46 yards in a 31-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 11 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Atlanta Falcons needed just three attempts to top that total in the rematch Thursday night in the Georgia Dome.
Quick Take: Brees blows Saints chances away at Falcons | sportsnola.com
Ken Trahan - You hardly ever point the finger at Drew Brees but you have to on this night.
Atlanta Falcons skipped the trash talking, focused on stopping Drew Brees | NOLA.com
Guy Curtright - Atlanta defense came up with five interceptions.
New Orleans Saints: Three-and-out | The Advocate
Rapid Reaction: Falcons 23, Saints 13 - NFC South Blog | ESPN.com
Pat Y. - Thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons’ 23-13 victory against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on Thursday night
From the Aerie
Falcons avenge their only loss to improve to 11-1 | ajc.com
D Orlando Ledbetter - The Falcons avenged their only loss of the season Thursday night.
Falcons Own Brees in Huge Division Win | atlantafalcons.com
Daniel Cox - Atlanta's defense came up big in the second half, picking off Drew Brees multiple times and giving a struggling Atlanta offense every chance to eventually put away a win over the Saints.
Falcons Safeties Came To Play | atlantafalcons.com
Daniel Cox - Three of the five picks on Drew Brees in Thursday night's win over the Saints came from Atlanta's young safety duo of Thomas DeCoud and William Moore, who executed a defensive game plan to near perfection.
Lone eggman suspected in pelting of Saints team bus | ajc.com
Christian Boone - He may be a hero to Falcons fans, but the lone eggman allegedly responsible for pelting the New Orleans Saints team bus Wednesday night could face trouble from his employer.
Head coach Mike Smith
"Tonight that was a really good win for our football team. I thought our defense played a tremendous game. Anytime you pick off five passes in a ballgame you've done a nice job. I thought that our guys showed a ton of resiliency throughout the entire football game. We entered tonight's game wanting to get a positive result and get mission 11 accomplished and I thought we did that."
On the defense:
"I can't say enough about it. They made plays when the ball was in the air. I felt like we had some opportunities believe it or not to make a couple of other plays. That's a very good quarterback that is normally a very efficient player and we are fortunate to take the ball away. I thought we did a nice job with our pressure in the ballgame and did a real good job of making them one dimensional. We did not give them the run game like we did the last time that we played them."
On CB Christopher Owens making some plays:
"I'll have to watch the tape, but standing there on the sideline I thought Christopher did a very nice job. Had a nice breakup there in the fourth quarter on a honey-hole shot against cover two. This is a team that when the next guy has to come up they step up. I can't say enough about the resiliency of this football team."
On the decision to kick the long field goal in the fourth quarter:
"That's a big decision. There are a lot of decisions that are made and had all of the confidence in the world in K Matt Bryant and that he would make that field goal. We knew if we didn't get the outcome our defense would go out there and make the play to keep them off. It was a no brainer in my mind. Matt Bryant is a guy that makes plays like that all the time. He's made them for us since he's been with us."
On ending QB Drew Brees touchdown streak:
"I didn't realize that and we walked off the field and somebody told me. It's an unbelievable streak. Drew Brees is an outstanding quarterback. The way that our defense played tonight it speaks volumes of how they played. This is a guy that has gone out there and thrown touchdown after touchdown, game after game after game. Just says a whole bunch about the way our football team played tonight."
On S William Moore:
"I thought William Moore had an outstanding game. Not only the turnovers but he dislodged a ball on a pass down our sideline that probably would have given a first down inside the 15 yard line. It was a big time play coming over the top on RB Darren Sproles."
On coming out being successful with the run early:
"We haven't run the ball as effectively as we would like to throughout the first nine games of the season. I think that we got into a rhythm. I've always said it. You've got to be able to run the football at some point in time during the season. I thought the guys did a nice job. We blocked extremely well at the point of attack and we had holes for the running back to get to the second level. Both RB Michael Turner and RB Jacquizz Rodgers I thought had an outstanding night running the football. It starts with the blocking up front."
On stopping them from getting points at the end of the half:
"That was huge, very big. We got off the field with no points in that situation because we were reeling a little bit there in the second quarter in terms of getting some stops. We were able to get that stop and they were out of timeouts. They threw the ball in bounds and were not able to get the next play off."
V-Roll Roll Call
Video: Saints vs. Falcons highlights | NFL.com
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees sees his streak with at least one touchdown pass end at 54 games as the Atlanta Falcons top their division rival 23-13 in Atlanta.
Video: Saints postgame press conference | NFL.com
Saints react following game with Falcons.
Video - Brees discusses mistakes vs. Falcons | NFL.com
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees speaks to the media following the Saints' 23-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.