Garrett Hartley isn't the only player who cost the Saints a shot at victory against Atlanta

By A.J. Giardina – bio | email

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - There's plenty of blame to go around following the Saints 27-24 overtime loss to Atlanta.

Most fans will blame the loss on Garrett Hartley, who has missed 3 of 7 field goals in three games.

Hartley played a vital role in the defeat but so did others.

Despite throwing for 365 yards and 3 touchdowns, reliable Drew Brees tossed two interceptions, helping the Falcons gain momentum.

The Saints defense bent and broke all day on the Superdome turf as the Falcons mixed the run and the pass, piling up 430 yards of offense.

New Orleans couldn't contain the Atlanta ground game giving up 202 yards, 114 of those yards to running back Michael Turner who also scored a touchdown.

One way to beat the Saints is to keep the ball away from Brees and company and the Falcons did just that in the second quarter eating up 10 minutes and 39 seconds in a 19-play 72 yard touchdown drive.

Saints linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar said, "Better believe we're going back to the drawing board." He added, "We have to put our heads to the wind and play some more football because it's still early in the season.  We can't let an opponent chew up 10 minutes-plus off the clock."

Defending Super Bowl Champs always receive an opponents best shot and the Saints must get accustomed to that challenge every week.  On Sunday Atlanta had to fight tooth-and-nail and in the end took advantage of the Saints mistakes to pull out an overtime win.

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