Atlanta avenged their only loss of the season during Thursday's game against the Saints.
Has there ever been an 11-1 team that has gotten less respect than the Atlanta Falcons? I’m not sure anyone outside of Atlanta thought that the Falcons would win this game. The talk all week had been how the Saints owned this rivalry, and how Atlanta hadn’t beaten a team of consequence all season.
Atlanta went out, amidst all the talk, and completely shut down the Saints. They harassed Drew Brees into five interceptions, and were able to control the pace of the game with their ground attack. This was a matchup that Atlanta did not need to win, and could have easily not shown up, but instead they never allowed the desperate Saints to gain any traction.
Tony Gonzales: A
Tony Gonzales didn’t have a monster game, but he gets an A for his career body of work. Gonzales had four catches during the game, which pushed him past 70 catches for the 13th time in his career and matches Jerry Rice for the most seasons in NFL history with 70 catches or more. Gonzales also caught his 102nd career touchdown and puts him 18th on the list of most touchdowns in NFL history.
Thursday Night Football: C
More football is never a bad thing, but the quality of these Thursday night games has not been great. Players are tired, hurt, and in general, have a difficult time making the short turn around from a Sunday game to a Thursday game. If the NFL is going to continue these games then it should, at least, plan the schedule around them and make teams coming out of a bye play on Thursday.
Drew Brees: D
Drew Brees had a horrible night against the Falcons, and the only reason he doesn’t get an F is because his offensive line tried doing their best Philadelphia Eagles impersonation. Brees threw five interceptions, and worst of all, no touchdowns, which ended his streak of consecutive td’s in a game at 54.
New Orleans Saints: F
The Saints were playing for their playoff lives last night, and with the loss have essentially been eliminated from the post-season—barring a miracle, of course. New Orleans falls to 5-7 and is sitting in the 11th spot in the NFC. There are currently five teams with a 5-6 record or better fighting for the final wild card spot, so New Orleans chances are extremely slim.