With this game sandwiched in between contests with the 6-4 San Francisco 49ers in Week 11 (a 23-20 victory for New Orleans) and the 10-1 Seattle Seahawks next week, a lackluster outing seemed to be on the horizon.
But what we got was a smashmouth football by the offense and a bend-but-don't-break style of play from the defense—which, in totality, was reminiscent of football normally seen in the Southeastern Conference in college football.
Though most expected a high-powered offensive butt-kicking—well, at least those who don't follow this column—when these two rivals compete, it's usually a nail-biter that typically goes in favor of the Saints. Ultimately, this game was no different. The Saints should be happy to leave Atlanta with momentum still on their side.
New Orleans has a ton of positives to hang their hats on. Conversely, there are a few areas where they should hang their heads.
Here are my takeaways from the Saints' gritty win over the Falcons on Thursday Night Football.