Halftime observations on Falcons, Saints

ATLANTA -- Time for some observations on the first half of the game between the Saints and Falcons.

  • Atlanta’s played about as well as anyone could expect, so far. The Falcons have a bunch of key guys out, but Mike Smith’s sticking with a game plan similar to what he used in a close loss to New Orleans earlier this year.

  • I’m totally impressed with what I’ve seen from Atlanta replacement quarterback Chris Redman in the first half. He’s been solid and his numbers would be really outstanding if Michael Jenkins had been able to pull in a long pass that went off his fingertips.

  • I know we’ve all come to expect New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees to be perfect all the time. Well, he pretty much was perfect in the first half with only two incomplete passes.

  • Love the way Sean Payton is using Reggie Bush. He’s not getting a lot of snaps because Pierre Thomas is. But it seems like Bush is almost always put in a position to make plays when he does get on the field.

  • Not a bright move by New Orleans defensive lineman Charles Grant getting an unnecessary roughness penalty at the end of the first half. It truly was unnecessary and it gave the Falcons the ball on the New Orleans 14-yard line with 19 seconds left and Atlanta cut the deficit to 16-9 with a late field goal.

  • We’ve talked a lot about New Orleans receiver Robert Meachem being the breakout player in the NFC South. I think you could make a case he’s the breakout player for the entire NFL.

  • A missed extra point normally isn’t a big deal, but not when you’re Garrett Hartley. The New Orleans kicker was just put into the job last week and the Saints still have John Carney hanging around. Another bad kick or two by Hartley and Carney might get his job back.