In a wild 26-18 win in Atlanta, the New Orleans Saints clinched the NFC South for the third straight year.
“Three in a row, that's saying something in this division,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees told Zach Strief, the Voice of the Saints. “We've had to fight hard for it. We've won in a lot of different ways.”
While Brees stressed that it was a team effort, he had plenty to say about Taysom Hill.
“[He had] the blocked punt to create that spark early on to get us that touchdown,” Brees said.” And then oh, by the way, he's blocking back on a run play and then we give him a shovel pass and runs and he scores. And on third and short we give it to him again, and he goes and scores. The Swiss army knife was alive and well out there today.”
Hill had a blocked punt, 45 total yards, and two touchdowns.
Brees also singled out defensive end Cam Jordan, who had a monster game himself.
“He is all day, every day,” Brees chuckled. “He is a high motor guy; and when we needed a play there at the end, he came up huge.”
Jordan had 6 tackles, 4 sacks, another 4 QB hits, and 1 pass deflection. Jordan now has 13.5 sacks on the year, his third straight year with double digit sacks; and he leads the NFL in sacks for the moment.
It was not all pretty, however. New Orleans racked up 9 penalties for 121 yards, 5 of which gave the Falcons first downs.
“We have to clean that up,” Brees said. “We understand that, or else it's going to get us beat. [We need to] clean up the penalties and take advantage of the opportunities. We can do a better job of that.”
Still, the Saints hung on for the victory despite the late Falcons rally; and being the first team to clinch a playoff spot is nothing to scoff at. The NFC South is just one part of the Saints' plan, according to Brees.
“That's step No. 1, but obviously we've got other goals and objectives to accomplish along the way now, too,” Brees said. “We just want to keep getting better every week. Each week presents new challenges and also new opportunities. We can control our destiny."
New Orleans has a big match-up against the San Francisco 49ers, who are the No. 1 team in the NFC at the moment, coming up.