The Atlanta Falcons apparently failed to get the memo from New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees. Prior to the Thursday night tilt, Brees emphatically informed his fellow Saints, "This is our division, and they know it."
His message fell on deaf ears as the Atlanta Falcons dealt him a 23-13 defeat on national television. Drew Brees tossed five picks to an inspired Atlanta Falcons' defense. Yet his confidence and bravado never wavered. Though New Orleans is 1-2 in NFC South games, Brees reasserted his belief. During a post game press conference broadcast on New Orleans' WWL 870, Drew Brees said the Saints knew where they stand in the division no matter what the record says.
Atlanta Falcons Deja Vu
The Atlanta Falcons had seen this movie before. An opponent jumping out to a double digit lead. A normally solid quarterback throwing five interceptions. A defense stepping up to keep the game close. An Atlanta Falcons win.
Drew Brees recreated Matt Ryan's nightmarish performance against the Arizona Cardinals. Brees' first interception was eerily similar to Ryan's first that went in and out of Roddy White's hands. Like Ryan's game against the Cardinals, every time Brees seemed to get into a groove an interception would follow.
The glaring difference between the two games is in the final results. Matt Ryan was able to perform his fourth quarter magic for yet another come from behind win. Brees fell short even when fortune shined on him with drive-extending penalties and a Michael Turner fumble.
Division Out Of Reach
With Thursday's win, the Atlanta Falcons whittled down their magic number to one. A Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss this week or Falcons win next week will secure Atlanta's second NFC title in three years. Meanwhile, the Saints have been eliminated from NFC South contention and most likely the postseason.
While the New Orleans Saints may have dominated the Falcons as of late, his continued assertion of dominance rings hollow after Thursday's dismal performance. If Drew Brees still owns the division, he needs to be aware that someone has intercepted his crown.