SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON
On how close the last Carolina field goal attempt came to being good:
"He (Joey Slye) hit a great kick. I was looking to see the trajectory, because a lot of times you might be able to get your hands on a kick of that length. He has a strong leg. He hit it; and, fortunately for us, it was a couple of yards short. I thought the sack on third down was critical, and it put them in a much different position. It was a good win."
On Marquez Callaway finding open areas to make plays:
"He played well today. If he's finding open areas, it's probably because it's zone. If it's man (coverage), we are moving. We saw him have a good training camp and we have seen him progress. A handful of guys really stepped up today and played, maybe, a different role than they are used to. That is just part of the deal right now."
On getting a touchdown before halftime:
"Obviously, we would have been happy if it was just a field goal. We were right at the cusp there with five seconds with a possible end zone play. We had leverage outside. Inside, we had leverage. Drew (Brees) did a great job of finding Deonte (Harris). That was probably a game-winning drive and we just didn't know it at the time."
On having fans in attendance:
"It was good. (It was) a little bit….3,000 (fans). We will keep adding as we go. You certainly felt a little bit more juice in the stadium than normal."
On the importance of a successful first drive of the game:
"I thought we ran the ball well. We kicked a couple too many field goals. I don't know that we punted. I can't recall a game where we did not punt. I felt like it went fast, obviously. I don't know what time that it was on the clock when we hit halftime, but that first half felt like the first quarter. Part of that was both teams were really moving the ball. The opening drive was really important."
On if time of possession was part of the strategy:
"We felt like first and second down was going to be important against this defense and that if we could stay on schedule, our success rate on third down would be that much better. We got into a couple of third and longs, particularly in the second half. Yet, we won a handful of statistics. We didn't win the turnover statistic, but a lot of the others, we did."
On what it was like to see Teddy Bridgewater on the other sideline:
"I don't remember him moving that good. He got out of some tough looks. He, obviously, played well. He made a lot of big plays in the passing game. He extended some plays. We had opportunities to (have a) free rusher. We've just got to be better in those situations. It's a much different offense. You can see, obviously, that they are playing with confidence. I think that he had maybe three incompletions the whole day."
On having a conversation with Teddy Bridgewater on the sideline during the game:
"I think that he felt like we had a penalty; and, he was right. And, then, I felt like they (the Panthers) had a penalty; and, I was right. He saw one flag and I saw the other. It was offsetting (penalties) and we had to play the down again. That was all."
On if he saw improvement of the defense:
"We've got some work to still do. I think that we played the run extremely well, not so much in the passing game."
On finding out late in the week that the team would be without both starting receivers:
"One thing that we know is that the games are going to be played. There are a couple of other teams dealing with some pretty extreme adversity. Honestly, no one else outside of your building really cares. I am proud of how our guys focused and found a way to get the win."
On the importance of sacking Teddy Bridgewater on the finals Panthers drive:
"Based on the field goal attempt that I saw, that even if we sacked him with two yards less, there was a good chance that (Carolina's kick) was going to go in. Obviously, it was a big play defensively. They got in field goal range and all of a sudden that (sack) put them right on the edge. That (sack) was significant (for us)."
Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers matchup in Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season.