Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
It was a good win, obviously, against a good team that we got a lot of respect for. Always when you come to an environment like this for a prime-time game, it's a tough match up. But this place is one of the harder places in our league to play. I thought early on that momentum quickly jumped in our favor, and they were able to capture it back by going up 14-7. Obviously, the turnover in the second quarter was a big turning point in the game. You can call it a ten-point swing, you can call it a fourteen-point swing, based on where they were on the field. That was a big play for us—the fumble recovery—that led to points. So, I'm pleased with the win. We still have a lot of things that we have to correct.
Q: Were there any adjustments you made defensively in the second half?
A: There were a few trap coverages that we had up, a few double coverages we had up. Those guys are tough—the receivers are tough—and Kirk [Cousins] does a good job finding them, but we were able to come up with the stops we needed. I thought the one third-down stop right before the turn of the quarter was a big one. Then, fortunately, we were able to score a touchdown. I was a little concerned. We settled for a field goal with the one turnover, offensively, but we did enough to win.
Q: What does this say about the team being able to pull out a win with Drew Brees throwing only 120 yards?
A: It's been different teams and different games, and yet there's some similar patterns that are important. We'll get challenged a whole bunch this upcoming week with this Rams team we will be playing, but there's areas we've improved in and yet some things we still need to work on.
Q: How much do you think this win in this building helps this team's psyche? Especially with the history of what happened last time.
A: A lot was made about that coming into this game. Look, the game was the game last year. If you were old enough to remember Franco Harris, and if you were old enough to remember the fumble forward, or Hail Mary. I think our team handled the week really well. The focus was on winning this game, in the regular season, against a good team and we were able to do that.
Q: How important was it to take the lead right before halftime?
A: I think if you ask me what was a pivotal part of the game, it was the sequence of the turnover and the score. That point shift was big. That's a 10-point swing and was a big sequence for us.
Q: You have won four straight road games. What's the key for you all to do this?
A: We've played well on the road here in the past. The key is just winning. I think the routine helps and getting used to certain things, but it's still about a good football team. We've been able to win the rushing battle and time of possession was close tonight. Each week it's different and I'm pleased we've been able to play well, not just at home but also on the road.