For the first 25 minutes of the half, the Saints laid dormant as the Falcons ran all over them. New Orleans’ run D barely contested a run-heavy opening drive score that was so easy for Atlanta that Michael Turner didn’t look like he weighed 400 lbs. for once. Brees responded by hitting a nearly impossible deep throw on 3rd down to get the New Orleans to the Atlanta side of the field, but then Breesus fell prey to the same shifting safeties deception that got Peyton Manning early in the season and Breesus was intercepted by Thomas DeCoud.
Tony Gonzalez hauled in the second score and things started to get progressively worse for the Saints. They either couldn’t get another drive going or they were turning the ball over right away. A deflected throw in the flat was intercepted and the Falcons tacked on another field goal. The next drive, the Saints were on the verge of a what might have been a disastrous three-and-out, but Brees hit a desperation throw over the middle to spark what ended up being their first scoring drive.
New Orleans then finally came to life and were just about to make it a tight game going into the half, but concepts like clock management seem to elude them and the second quarter expired before New Orleans could put any points on the board on the final drive. Sean Payton would’ve known what to do. He would have said DO YOUR JOB and the job would have been done, by gum.