ATLANTA, GA (WVUE) - This is not the way it's supposed to go, right?
When the Saints play the Falcons, it's supposed to be close. When the Saints play the Falcons, its supposed to be intense. And when the Saints play the Falcons, they are supposed to win.
"It was back and forth," Drew Brees said after the game. "If history tells you anything. That's the way this game has been for what feels like five or six years now."
And thriving in those close games, particularly in this stadium, is what's made the Saints so dominant in this rivalry. That's why they were 13-3 against this team since 2006.
Drew Brees and Sean Payton LIVE for this moment. Matt Ryan and Mike Smith fear it.
But not Sunday.
In a Georgia Dome as loud as I've ever heard it, Smith, Ryan and company faced their fear head-on and sent the Saints home with a loss to start the season.
All game long It was as if you could sense the typical 'Falcons mistake' coming. The only problem was, it never came.
Like when they lined up for the game-tying 51 yard field goal, surely Matt Bryant would miss it? Nope. Or when he lined up for the 52-yard game-winner? Same result.
Instead, it was the Saints with one blunder too many. It was Brees that threw the interception in the end zone when they could've went up ten in the third quarter. It was Marques Colston getting stripped on the second play of overtime and fumbling a potential first down into the game-deciding play in Atlanta's favor.
Four plays later, the game was over, with the Falcons on top 37-34.
In the end, it only counts as one. But something tells me this one feels a little sweeter for the Falcons and their head coach.
After all, at least this Sunday and maybe only this Sunday, he can say he flipped the script on the one head coach who's always seemed to have his number.