What we learned

The Saints can play defense when they really need it as the NFL’s 32nd-ranked unit turned the league’s eighth-ranked offense back twice in the final two minutes to record the victory. They gave up more than 400 yards for the ninth straight game, but who cares?

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It’s official. The Saints definitely have the Falcons’ number after securing their 11th win in 13 meetings dating to the 2006 season. The Saints are 7-2 against Falcons coach Mike Smith, who is 49-15 in the regular season against everyone else.

Final thoughts

After an 0-4 start, the Saints still can’t think about getting in the playoff hunt — not yet anyway. But they have a shot at getting .to .500 with a win Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, who have given up 97 points .the past two games.

Sheldon Mickles