NEW ORLEANS -- Quick hits from the postgame locker rooms:
1. Almost every player, including Randy Moss, answered questions from reporters. It seemed as if the Patriots were embarrassed by their performance and were open to taking the hard questions.
2. Saints coach Sean Payton pointed to Mike McKenzie’s first-quarter interception as the turning point. The Patriots led 7-3 and were at the Saints’ 46, but after the pick New Orleans scored a touchdown to go ahead 10-7 and never looked back. “A pivotal play in the game,” Payton said.
3. Bill Belichick opened his press conference by saying that the Saints deserved credit. “They were obviously the better team tonight,” he said. He said they took advantage of “enormous mistakes,” the kind that teams can’t make and expect to win against a club of the Saints’ caliber.
4. Saints quarterback Drew Brees felt the offensive line was key to the team’s attack. “We were able to take some shots down the field. We had some big-time runs-after-the-catch by those wide receivers. It starts with the offensive line.”
5. Belichick on putting quarterback Brian Hoyer in the game with 5:26 remaining: “To give him some experience. We were down 21 points with five minutes to go.”