Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
For perhaps the first time all season, the New Orleans Saints looked like a playoff team. They just might end up being that.
A team that's been gasping for air all season suddenly looked very legitimate. The Saints beat an Atlanta team that played well. This wasn't Drew Brees and mirrors as it's been most of the season. This was a very sound win that included a decent day by the defense and a strong performance by running back Pierre Thomas.
Makes you wonder where the Saints would be if they'd played anything like this all season. That doesn't really matter now. The fact is the Saints are 7-6 and alive in the playoff race.
They're going to have to run the table -- they've got games at Chicago and Detroit before closing the regular season at home against Carolina. That's not going to be easy for a team that hasn't had much consistency all season.
But, with a few more performances like Sunday's, anything is possible.