Saints welcome Sean Payton back in style


The worst defense in the history of the NFL made plays when it needed to.

The Saints came back for a 23-17 win over the Falcons, making key plays at the right time with a makeshift defense.

The Falcons had a fourth-and goal chance inside the final minute, but safety Roman Harper picked off a tipped pass intended for Tony Gonzalez, securing the win in a back-and-forth game.

It was one of a series of stops for the Saints, who were more timely than stout. That’s going to have to be the case, because they don’t have the personnel to shut people down defensively.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees outdueled Falcons counterpart Matt Ryan, completing 26-of-35 passes for 357 yards and two touchdowns. That’s the kind of output they were counting on with Payton back on the sidelines after his one-year suspension.

But the consistent ability to get pressure from an injury plagued defense will be the thing that allows the Saints to contend this year, if they can keep it up. Last year’s defense allowed an NFL record for yards allowed in a season, and after watching several key parts lost for the season with injuries in the preseason, it didn’t look promising.

38 responses to “Saints welcome Sean Payton back in style

  1. “it didn’t look promising”

    So holding what all the “experts” were saying was one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses to 17 pts, while getting good pressure on Matt Ryan, “doesn’t look promising”?

  2. New pieces made an immediate impact. Haralson got in Ryan’s face a whole lot today and Kenny Vaccaro made some solid plays but especially getting a hand on that final pass to Gonzalez(who otherwise catches that ball 100,000 out of 100,000 times).

  3. The Saints dominate the Dirty Birds. The missing Saints defense came through at the end to protect the win. Eggs are on the Dirty Birds this time…again.

  4. Uh, Darin….this ain’t the Doomsday Defense, it ain’t the Steel Curtain, and it ain’t the Purple People Eaters, but it AIN’T the worst defense in NFL history. That was last year. We actually looked somewhat competent. Spags is stocking Del Monte green beans at a Safeway or something. Last year’s over.

  5. Its impossible for “the leagues worst defense” to do anything. That D was last year. It doesn’t exist anymore. New players, new coordinator.

  6. 4 plays – 4 passes.- WTF? Did the Falcons acquire Jackson to be a pass catcher? BTW,The fade route looks like the worst play in FB when it doesn’t work. RUN THE DAMN BALL!

  7. Jackson made a big difference today, right up to the end…..dropped an easy pass that would have provided the go-ahead touchdown…..he’a a big upgrade from Turner, but this had to be heartbreaking for him ( not to mention Falcon fans)….

    ….the Ryan hater-psychopaths are crowing, but the only thing Matt could have done was throw the pass, run into the end zone and catch it himself….with the sketchy pass protection, another game that the Falcons where in to the end only because of Ryan…..

    Finally….will someone send Mike Smith to a clock management seminar in the off season ! With a minute left they have a 1st down at the 7 and end up throwing 4 times PLUS calling their final two timeouts…..even had they scored Drew Brees would have been left with 40-50 seconds and two timeouts to get into field goal range in his home dome stadium….should have run at least once/twice (Jackson, NOT Jaquizz) and made the Saints use their timeouts…..

  8. Yo all you Dirty Birds fans, where you at? (Crickets …). Yeah, that’s what I thought. WHO DAT!!

  9. The only time Matt Ryan looked real comfortable is in that commercial with that guys legs wrapped around his head. He’s a natural……

  10. take your “worst defense in NFL history” junk and stuff it in a sack.

    This Saints defense are a bunch of mean mofos. They are going to hurt people and make them like it.

  11. Saints D is back on the map. I’m sure there will be refutes about it but let’s keep in mind the amount of “experts” that put the falcons on a pedestal to make it to the Super Bowl

  12. As I’ve said before- The Saints better feel good about them narrowly winning in their house. Against young d-backs. Congratulations! I hope you feel wonderful!

    Until November 21st, when you have to come to Atlanta. And get beaten, badly. And get moved straight out of the playoffs. Just like last year.

    So have a great time! The season’s just started and your QB throws picks. Try to play with that game plan again and you will get beat. Again.

  13. mannyicey:

    How many wins for the Saints and how many for the Dirty Birds against one another? We own you, loser.

    Last season: Minus our coach. Minus a defense.
    This season: With our coach. With a new DC, With new players and a new strong defense. Taste a little of that today, loser?


  15. So all you people who thought Payton was losing his mind hiring Ryan – where you at now?

    That defense is not the 2012 defense. We’re back and you better be running scared.

  16. The “Worst Defense Ever” was last year, with a whole different coordinator and with several different players. This is no longer that defense.

    The “Worst Defense Ever” was still good enough to beat an undefeated Atlanta team once last year. Why would you think an improved Saints defense would fair any worse?

    Payton + Brees = wins. Everybody wants to write the Saints off now. Only Terry Bradshaw on the Fox Sports crew picked the Saints to win this game.

    At the end of the day, the Falcons are a good team, but they don’t have the same competitive spirit that the Saints have. Drew and Payton play aggressive and don’t get shaken. Matty Ice and Mike Smith have a good thing going, but the Saints, in particular, can get in their heads and make them lose. Look in Brees’ eyes when he gets sacked…he’s gets up pissed off. When Ryan gets sacked, he gets up looking afraid. I like Ryan, but you don’t win championships with that weak of a mindset.

  17. mannyicey says:
    Sep 8, 2013 6:43 PM
    As I’ve said before- The Saints better feel good about them narrowly winning in their house. Against young d-backs. Congratulations! I hope you feel wonderful!

    Until November 21st, when you have to come to Atlanta. And get beaten, badly. And get moved straight out of the playoffs. Just like last year.

    So have a great time! The season’s just started and your QB throws picks. Try to play with that game plan again and you will get beat. Again.
    and if the rise up bunch play that game plan again they will get beat…but they play that way every game and that is why there games come down to the final series.

  18. Mannyicey: Losers talk trash. Winners speak truth. We OWN y’all. See ya on 11/21, so we can y’all another beat down.

  19. Hey, Mike Smith, here’s a small piece of advice: stop calling stupid pass plays inside the 5 yard line! You got Stephen Jackson–give him the damn ball!

  20. I wouldn’t get too high on this game as a Saints fan (Payton being back was a definite morale boost and then factor in the revenge factor)

    Or too low as a Falcon fan (the Saints were pumped to get the taste of last year out of their mouths)

    You can never predict the whole season based on the first game but what I saw from this game:

    1. The Saints defense looked different. They looked loose and violent, like they were on a mission and having fun doing it. There were times when Matt Ryan was sacked or flushed and I could see him thinking “what’s the deal? I thought these guys sucked on D”

    2. The Falcons are going to be a threat offensively with all of those weapons. It’s just a matter of choosing when to use whom for what situation.

    3. Gonzalez is still a monster and Graham is a force but overall both teams handled the tight ends equally with 1 TD each.

    4. Brees wasn’t perfect but a lot of people expect him to be. I’m sure many teams would take their quarterback going 26-35 any day.

    5. Along with the defense the Saints running game made the difference. It wasn’t dominating but the consistency wore down the Falcons D. If the gameplan for the Saints is to stay consistent and balanced with the running plays they will be successful.

  21. Once again, the Falcons got out coached (in 60 minutes never adjusted to a 3 safety defensive set), and their offensive line was a real liability. I think Patty Melt is strictly a second tier QB, but this loss was really not his fault. His receivers let him down on the last series, and his line did not protect. Finally, I thought Payton was nuts to hire Rob Ryan, but I have to admit his players – young and old – play with a passion and energy that was impressive.

  22. Congratulations to the Saints! You squeak out a win by the slimmest possible margin of victory and immediately proceed to speak of dominance. You are a classy organization with a classy fan base.

    Now, if you wouldn’t mind, please hand your mother these 20-cent beads for me…

    Thank you

  23. Dirty bird:

    No fans in football are as nasty and bad as your base. When Saints fans are traveling from the airport in Atlanta to the game, your base fans throw eggs and body fluids and excrement at the fans.

    We own you, winning how many of the last 12? You say it dirty bird. Most of the games between us come down the final play. That is just the way it is.

    We have our coach back, a new great DC, new players on defense and showed you what an NFL defense is…the vaunted most balanced offense in the NFL, oh so great of a team, and there is no doubt you have a really good team, but we beat your butts again.

    Saints love the games with the Dirty birds. It is always a close game, usually coming down to the last play. You need to enjoy it for what it is….a game in which your team will be beat.

    Just take it. Come on down to New Orleans when you want some really great food. Chances are you won’t be egged or have body fluids and excrement thrown on you.

  24. The Falcons are a good team and played hard in that game. However, the Saints played a little better. Get used to it. They were 13-3 in 2011, and this year’s team is even better. Don’t be surprised if they take down the Patriots, 49ers and Seattle this year… along with Payton Manning again in the big game.

  25. This old refrain of “The Saints do not have the personnel” is total garbage.

    David Hawthorne is a beast when healthy and so is Curtis Lofton. As is Jonathan Vilma. And Junior Galette was awesome yesterday. Akiem Hicks, Cam Jordan, Kenny Vaccaro? All of these guys can be dominant.

    We are a deep defense. We are a proud defense. We are going to win games with our defense.

  26. alligatorsnapper,you put everything perfectly! For once I am at a loss for words about football,but you said everything that needed saying.When are them silly fans gonna realize,them dirty birds just can’t fly in that NOLA Brees! WHO DAT! WE DAT! BELIEVE DAT! And if you don’t,watch the game again! I second alligatorsnapper,just enjoy the rivalry of two good teams,but don’t get your hopes up.Just enjoy the fact y’all can hang with us till the end!

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