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Transcript: Sean Payton postgame interview


*Saints head coach Sean Payton discussed the team's loss to NFC division rivals, the momentum of the game, the Falcons' winning field goal, and the Saints' inability to stop the run game after the contest in New Orleans on Sunday. *

Opening Statement:

"Obviously, it's a disappointing loss. It's a tough loss. It was a hard fought game. I told this to the team, when you turn it over like we did early on, we give up a big plays, and we fail to convert that kick in overtime like that, it's going to be tough to overcome those things. It's going to be tough to overcome out inability out there on fourth and short to get a yard. It is easy to look at the kick and just point that specific play in overtime, yet there was a reason we were in overtime. The turnovers, something we have done a good job with, we gave up some big plays to guys we were supposed to be doubling in coverage and we can't get off the field late in our run defense and like I alluded to earlier, the missed field goal there in overtime. It's a tough loss. Credit them. They came in and played a real good game. It was a hard fought win for them. It's disappointing. We all, collectively, myself included, have got to get back and do a better job next week. We will watch this tape tomorrow and get our focus on to Carolina next week.


On offense: **

"There were some big plays that we had and yet we are still some problems in short yard situations, we had dropped balls today. There were a couple of penalties. We are not playing our best football. At times, we did some real good things and we just weren't consistent enough, nor were we on defense.


On recent success of opposing tight ends:**

"This one was different. This one, you wouldn't compare to the last two weeks. He was a lot more involved, targeted on third down. He is a good player. He came up with, especially in the first half, some big receptions early in the game.


On time of possession:**

"The game (in regulation) ended up at 37 to 22 1/2. Obviously, that drive to finish the half took a lot of time off the clock. In the second, it kind of swung a little bit more to a balance. It's a good team. It's a good team offensively and defensively. We couldn't get them off the field in that drive and they ate up a lot of time on that drive also.


On possibly blocking the overtime field goal:**

"It was one of those whistle plays, I think. I don't know. I was going to use a timeout. It was pretty simple. We were going to use a timeout and let them kick it again."


On Saints defense in the last drive:**

"It ended up being a long day. They had a lot of snaps to defend. Sixty-seven snaps to be specific. It's a big momentum swing there when you are down in a position at the 11 to win the game and then you are back on defense. Certainly we would have liked to force them to punt at some point. We struggled. We struggled stopping them in the run game, really. It was pretty clear.

On Tracy Porter:

"He has got a hamstring that got tight.


On the team missing Tracy Porter in the game:**

"Yeah. I don't know that I'd say that. Certainly, you want your starters out there. I don't know that that is something we would point to. We will see on the tape. We want him healthy.


On Lance Moore: **

"I thought he played well. He came up with some big plays for us. He is good inside. We found some throws. He made the big play down the field early in the game which gave us a lead. The other touchdown he had was a little isolation route in the red zone coverage and Drew (Brees) waited on him. It was a good play by him. It was encouraging.


On getting opponents' best shots: **"I think we got their best shot a year ago when we played them. I don't really pay much attention to that. It's a division game. You are getting someone's best shot in the division. Teams are gunning for us because we are the team that won the division a year ago. I think teams are playing hard, just as they were a year ago when we were 8-0, 9-0, and 10-0. These guys get paid to play and to play in the division.

On not playing the best football:

"No, just watching the game today. Like I said, we are going to have a hard time winning a lot of games if we can't convert third and one, if we give up touchdown passes when we are doubling a receiver, if we can't kick a 16 yard field goal, and we turn it over three times, we are not going to win a lot of games. That's pretty clear.


On momentum:**

"There were probably five or six big shifts in momentum when you look at that game. It went back and forth. Field position was important. We came close to returning that kick for a touchdown and Courtney (Roby) almost sprung one. It did go back and forth. You point to a drive where we are right in the area of the red zone and all of a sudden it ends up being a turnover where they come down and score points from that. That's kind of the way this game is, and there were a lot of momentum swings.

On Garrett Hartley:

"We are not going to talk about personnel right now. I think it is a fair question. Last week, he played well. He pulled this kick. Certainly, he has got to play better than that but there are a lot of us that have to do a better job."

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