Saints steamrollered by Falcons in biggest upset of season
The New Orleans Saints suffered the most unlikely loss of the season on Sunday, when they were defeated in their own Superdome 26-9 by rivals Atlanta Falcons.
He broke a six-game winning streak for the Saints, who fell to 7-2. And he broke a streak of six straight losses for the Falcons, who are now 2-7.
How weird was the discomfort?
New Orleans was favored by 13.5 points, according to Caesars Sportsbook, which made the Saints the biggest favorite to lose a game this season.
It was the fourth time, and the first since 2001, that a team on a losing streak of at least six games beat a team on a winning streak of at least six games, according to an investigation by the Elias Sports Bureau. The others arrived in 1973 and 1948.
It was the first time since 2003 that a team with a record of 7-1 or better lost to a team with a record of 1-7 or worse, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
He broke the Saints’ streak of 110 home games in which they reached the double-digit score. They were slightly below the NFL record set by the Indianapolis Colts from 1997 to 2011.
“It’s not us. We’re better than that,” said quarterback Drew Brees, who was particularly disappointed that the Saints were 3 of 12 in third attempts and 0 of 3 in fourth attempts.
Brees also tied his career record by being fired six times, against a Falcons team that entered the game for the last time in the NFL with only seven catches throughout the season.
And the Saints repeatedly killed their own impulses or kept the Falcons’ impulses alive with a total of 12 penalties for 90 yards.
“We don’t play well enough to win today, really against anyone,” said Saints coach Sean Payton. “I mean, you choose a situation, and there is a good chance that they will win that situation.”
“It’s not a lesson, but this league is too good week by week that you can enter and not be focused and ready. This has always been a game played with emotion, and I thought they beat us.”
“They beat us, beat us and deserved to win.”
Even more surprising was the fact that the New Orleans offensive was expected to be even more explosive with runner Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook returning from injuries after his farewell to Week 9.
However, somehow the Saints were defeated on a day when they could not get out of their own way.
“You must beat the man in front of you, and it is quite difficult to do so when you step on your own,” said Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan.
The most expensive penalty of the Saints was probably a call of rudeness against the deep J.T. Gray when the Saints were behind 20-9 with nine minutes remaining in the last quarter. But they were also scored three times when they allowed Atlanta to stay on the field for a 17-play touchdown in the first half.
A pair of injuries to cornerback Marshon Lattimore and guard Andrus Peat also wounded the Saints.
Lattimore was following Falcons catcher Julio Jones before leaving the game in the second quarter with a thigh injury. He never returned despite trying to get back on the bench.
Before Lattimore’s injury, Jones was held without a trap. Later, Jones caught three balls for 79 yards.
“They came here in a hostile environment and made us like what they served, basically. So congratulations,” said Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins. “But for us, we return to the drawing board. We have to be able to bounce. This is not, in any way, form or form a type of panic button deal.”
The Saints have three more division games to come, starting with a trip to Tampa Bay in Week 11.
“What a shame if we can’t make the corrections,” Payton said. “It’s much easier to get in and see the tape after winning. But that’s one of the things in this game that creates a bit of hardness and courage.”Tags: Saints steamrollered, Saints, Saints falcon