One statement needed to be made on Monday Night Football, the New Orleans Saints are still the Super Bowl Champions (which they did).
There was plenty of excitement and all of the electricity during the game and afterwards on all of the blog pages out on Tuesday morning.
My ears are still ringing from the screams of excitement during the game Monday night that was thick with a playoff atmosphere more than any fan could have ever asked for.
The New Orleans Saints went in to the Georgia Dome to remind the Atlanta Falcons who the champions are and came out with a victory to seal their second consecutive season making the playoffs.
They came out of this game with that and a lot more. They proved to the Falcons that not only are they beatable at home, but they were also lucky to win against the Saints back in week 3.
The past is the past as far as New Orleans is concerned, and once again the Saints proved it on Monday night when quarterback Drew Brees threw 2 interceptions (both snagged by Atlanta defensive linemen) even having one returned for a touchdown that put the falcons up 14-10 in the fourth quarter.
The Saints then methodically marched down the field 90 yards using 7:11 off the clock to take the lead for good. This Saints team has what allot of other teams want, that is a never say die attitude.
They have only played a complete game a few times this year and after 16 weeks they have a record of 11-4 and only one game behind the conference leading Atlanta Falcons, who will have to win next weeks game against the lonely Carolina Panthers to make sure they keep the NFC’s number one seed.
New Orleans does not care where they have to play this post season, they are 6-2 on the road this year and getting healthier as the post season arrives.
The Falcons game plan was to blitz Drew Brees all night causing him to throw under pressure in hopes for some errent throws.
The Saints didn’t figure out how to block the constant pressure until it was really needed in the fourth quarter.
Pierre Thomas started running like he did in 2009 courtesy of the offensive line who started opening huge holes in the Falcons defensive front exploiting the Falcons consistent blitzing.
Thomas didn’t finish with huge numbers for the game, 19 attempts for 63 yards and one touchdown, but the runs he accomplished in the fourth quarter were nothing short of vintage Pierre Thomas. He had powerful runs while breaking tackles and making defenders miss and it sure was a site for sore eyes.
The game plan was to take and eliminate the Falcon players that had anything to do with the loss back in week three and clean up mistakes that cost them in last weeks loss to Baltimore.
They held Falcons running back Michael Turner to 48 yards on 17 attempts and tight end Tony Gonzalez, who hurt the Saints the most in week 3 by converting 7 first downs on 8 catches for 110 yards, was held to 2 receptions for 12 yards and no touchdowns.
Matt Ryan was held to just 15 of 29 for 148 yards and 1 touchdown.
This was a complete game played by the New Orleans Saints defense who were able to hold the Falcons powerful offense to just 215 yards while playing in a very hostile environment.
The Saints offense had to overcome all of the crowd noise and a couple of mistakes by Saints Drew Brees who went 36-49 for 302 yards 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.
Saints rookie tight end Jimmy Graham has been tremendous considering the way he has learned the playbook this season while developing into an absolute force while filling in for the injured David Thomas.
He caught a 6 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to put the Saints in the lead with 3:24 left in the game and finished the game with 4 catches for 26 yards.
Robert Meachem finished the game as the Saints leading receiver with 101 yards on 10 catches.
While this wasn’t one the best offensive outputs of the season, they did what was needed to win this game. There are allot of teams that would not have survived in that environment with that kind of pressure, but there is only one NEW ORLEANS SAINTS team.
Make no mistake they are here for the long haul and all of the other teams in the NFL need to pay attention because the Saints served notice Monday night that they plan on being a force to reckon with in the playoffs.
The New Orleans Saints have never believed in this so called Super Bowl hangover that everyone keeps talking about. Who Dat believes in them Saints WE DO. GEAUX SAINTS!!
Check out Keith Null’s weekly article about the Saints on NFL.com by clicking here.
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