Their franchise-record 10-game winning streak in the rear-view mirror, the Saints late Thursday night tipped their hats to the Cowboys.
Dallas’ defense stopped Drew Brees, its offense shortened the game and a Saints team that was averaging more than 37 points per game was held to 10 and gained only 176 yards, its fewest since 2001.
“I felt like we didn’t really find a rhythm for pretty much the whole game,” said Brees, who had only 127 passing yards, second-fewest for a full game in 13 seasons with the Saints. “I guess we may have had one decent drive. … So credit to them.”
“We couldn’t find our rhythm”
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 30, 2018
In fact, the Cowboys could take some credit for the Saints’ only touchdown, which came on a drive in which Dallas was called for 41 yards in penalties.
“They played a heck of a game, deserved to win the game. … It starts with us as coaches, the plan going in,” Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters. “There will be a lot we watch on tape, and regret certain plays. But before we get into any of that, you really gotta tip your hat to the way they played. I thought those guys did a good job tonight and played a heck of a game, deserved to win the game.”
Making the night’s performance by the Cowboys all the more impressive: New Orleans’ 10-game win streak aside, the Saints were especially hot over the four weeks leading into Thursday, averaging a whopping 44 points per game.
“S—, we was on a good run, you know. And we’ve just gotta get back to the drawing board. … They just played hard, they did a good job. We didn’t do enough,” running back Mark Ingram said (via ESPN.com) in a quiet locker room.
This was the second-longest win streak in Saints history —- and the other one, when they started 13-0 in 2009, coincidentally also was snapped by the Cowboys.
And about that quiet locker room? The Saints aren’t accustomed to one this season.
“It’s a s—y feeling having to come in here, quiet, and not having music playing and Craig (Robertson) and Demario (Davis) dancing and stuff like that,” defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said (via nola.com). “But, somebody had to win, and somebody had to lose. It sucks we were on the losing end.”
At 10-2, the Saints fall a half-game behind the Rams in a tight NFC race. But they can keep this in mind: That 2009 team that saw its 13-game streak stopped by the Cowboys bounced back to win the only Super Bowl in franchise history.