New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton joined Bobby Hebert and Zach Strief on the Saints Radio Network on Monday night to discuss his team's Week 13 performance against Atlanta on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
"There's a number of things we thought we saw today on tape that we can coach and clean up, but situationally, our red zone defense was a big reason we won that game yesterday," Payton said Monday of the Saints 21-16 win over the arch-rival Atlanta Falcons. "Look, the third down numbers were good in our favor on both sides of the ball. And it was what we knew was going to be, a hard-fought game, especially going back there to play them after just having won a couple weeks back.
"It wasn't perfect by any means, but there were a lot of things that were good on that tape that I think can help us. And again, you're kind of riding a little bit of a wave here of momentum, and yet you still have to get after the corrections, get after the mistakes so they don't cost you in another game. And that's what we're in the midst of doing now."
The Saints rushed for 207 yards on 36 attempts Sunday, their second consecutive game eclipsing 200 yards. It's the first time that New Orleans has rushed for over 200 yards in back-to-back games since 1990.
"We had run a quarterback run in the second quarter," Payton said. "A designed quarterback run off of a little 'torch' motion, fake handoff to Alvin (Kamara) and I think Taysom (Hill) gained seven yards. And at halftime, we were going in and I just happened to be walking with Alvin and I said, 'Hey, what are you liking here?' A lot of times the backs and the linemen can give you good ideas.
"And Alvin kind of said, 'Hey, what I really like is that last quarterback run. Man, let's run the '15 weak' off of the same formation.' And I thought, well that's easy because that run's already in, we're just tweaking the formation. And so at halftime we made a few adjustments like we always would relative to what we want to do in the passing game and the running game. And the last (adjustment) was, 'Hey, by the way, we're going to run this '15 weak' just like we're formatting the keeper, we're just going to call it 'weak-F'.' And I'll be darned if we don't get down on that first drive and we handed it to Alvin, and I'll tell you what, it was a good looking run. So, so much for the 28 hours on Wednesday and Thursday night's that we spend in the office looking for a decent red zone run."
Kamara rushed 15 times for 88 yards, including that 11-yard score early in the third quarter.
The Saints (10-2), who won their ninth consecutive game, travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles on Sunday at 3:25 p.m. on Fox.