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Sean Payton discusses 23-17 victory over Atlanta Falcons

Transcript from Sean Payton's post-game press conference

"It was a hard fought win. I just finished talking to the guys and certainly there are a lot of things we will have to clean up, but I thought they played hard. We had a couple of guys who went in when a few guys went down and they handled that pretty well. We kind of knew this game would go back and forth with the momentum and we also thought there was a good chance it would come down to the final possession since it has so many other times. That is a good football team, obviously, that we just played. They were the best (record) last year in the NFC so it was a really good win for us and it will be a good tape for us to coach off us."

On the last defensive stop:

"It was obviously big; it was the difference between winning and losing. We gave up some plays and some yardage and I thought after that first quarter we settled in and mixed things up. That is a real good offense we played. Statistically, looking at the numbers there were a lot of things we did well. I thought our third down defense was good, we held them to 3-of-10. We were 6-of-13 so those are big numbers when you look at drives that were continued or drives that end up resulting in a punt."

On going for it on fourth down in the first quarter to help the defense's confidence:

"It's not about that so much as just something you think about with the players you have, the distance, just a couple thoughts I had in regards to the call, but its just your gut you go with and decide if you are going to do it. It's really just that."  

On Roman Harper's fumble recovery:

"The turnovers we thought would be important in the game and certainly they were in this one."

On the pass rush:

"We didn't blitz a lot so we felt it was going to be important with the four-man rush and the three-man rush. We had to at least hurry in and times, Matt (Ryan) is really good at extending plays and I thought that was important.'

On if the emotions felt similar to 2006 season opener:

"No, not at all. You can't make any comparisons. I thought the first quarter was obviously not our best quarter, I thought it was kind of flat. I didn't think it was exceptionally loud. I think it got loud toward the end. It was an important game for us, but that game (2006) was different."

On his assessment of the rookie class:

"A lot of those young guys are going to play so I have to look at the tape, but we're fortunate to have some guys that made this team as rookie free agents, let alone draft picks, so that was pleasing. We'll see how all of them did on the film, but we played a few of them and a few of them were inactive."

On getting the win:

"It was just important to get the first win. You try to compartmentalize each week, each game and we played a good team. It was good to get the win, its good to start the season that way. I thought we fought hard, especially late in the game."

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