Three and out: Nick Underhill breaks down the Saints’ 31-21 win over the Falcons _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints celebrate against the Atlanta Falcons in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015.

1. What we learned

The Saints’ season is no longer in a coma. Don’t celebrate yet. This team is still breathing with the help of a ventilator. I don’t know who this team was. This wasn’t the same group that got smacked around by the Eagles. There was a pass rush, Drew Brees was hitting his marks and the cornerbacks played well. If somehow this season turns around, this will be the moment we look back on. But it’s too soon for that kind of talk. New Orleans is still a team with two wins. It’s going to take a few more of these before things come back to life, but this was the first time this season we saw a complete performance.

2. Trending now

Everything is trending right now. Cam Jordan looked like a world beater, this team was producing turnovers like crazy and Drew Brees had a vintage performance. His deep pass to Brandin Cooks on a slant in the second half is as good of a pass as he has thrown all season. It’s dangerous to get too reactionary, though. Were the five sacks against the Falcons the sign of a pass rush that finally figured things out, or was the Atlanta offensive line just especially vulnerable? These are all things we’re going to figure out down the line. But, again, the transformation has to start somewhere.

3. Final thoughts

The Saints had to get a win. Rumors have been flying about Sean Payton being interested in other jobs. While he has shot those rumors down, they persist. It’s good to know that chatter isn’t going to be an issue. If this team thought its coach wasn’t behind it, it wouldn’t have been shocking to see it come out and have a dud of a performance. That didn’t happen. This is the most fight this team has shown all season. The “noise” doesn’t appear to be an issue. It’s just noise.