The New Orleans Saints lost to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football with a final score of 23-13. The Saints desperately needed this win against the Falcons and they just were not able to get it done. With the loss the Saints drop to 5-7 and essentially drop out of playoff contention as well.
I just do not see how the Saints can make the playoffs with their current record and their remaining schedule. The Saints face the New York Giants next on the road and the way the Giants are playing it figures to be a very tough game for the Saints. Drew Brees’ five interceptions doomed the Saints for the entire game as the Falcons scored 13 points off of those turnovers. Furthermore, in an uncharacteristic performance Brees unfortunately set his career high with those five picks.
The Saints put up a fight the entire game but the turnovers were extremely costly as the Saints were playing catch-up all night. However, the Saints also missed some big opportunities to score and at one point they could have potentially been up 21-17 in the third quarter if things had gone their way.
Because of those missed opportunities the Saints had to make a last ditch effort in the fourth quarter but with Brees’ fourth interception of the game the game was over for the Saints. Even when the Saints recovered a fumble shortly after the interception it did not matter as Brees threw his fifth interception of the game with under two minutes to go. Unfortunately, the Saints’ turnovers and missed opportunities sealed their fate.
This was a tough loss for the Saints and perhaps personally tough for Brees, who saw his consecutive touchdown pass streak end at 54 games, not throwing for a TD or the first time since October 18, 2009. Brees cannot be happy with this defeat and it was a collectively tough pill to swallow for the entire team. The Saints split the regular season series with the Falcons and with the loss more fuel is added to this divisional rivalry.
There is no way the Saints can make the playoffs now and they will not get a chance to play for a Super Bowl in their home stadium, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Furthermore, if the Falcons reach the Super Bowl this season they will be at a great disadvantage because there is no way Saints’ fans will like having the Falcons playing for a Super Bowl in their Superdome.
The outcome of this game adds to one of the growing and fiercest rivalries in the NFL. The Saints lost to the Falcons tonight but they will not forget and they will be coming for the Falcons next season. I know I will enjoy watching this rivalry play out for years to come. For now the Saints have to do their best to win the rest of their games and the Falcons better look out for the Saints next season because any games featuring these two teams will sure to be very intense.