Saints-Bills Three and out

1 WHAT WE LEARNED

The Saints are resilient. Coming off a gut-wrenching 30-27 loss at New England two weeks ago and last week’s only open date of the season, New Orleans bounced back with an imperfect but important 35-17 victory over Buffalo. Though the Bills are now 3-5, they were determined enough to take advantage of the Saints’ slow start and grab a 10-7 lead late in the second quarter. But New Orleans reclaimed its momentum in both the game and its season with two rapid-fire touchdowns to take what proved to be an insurmountable 21-10 halftime lead.

2 TRENDING NOW

Jimmy Graham. You’re going to lose games like the one the Saints let slip away at New England, especially to a team of the Patriots’ caliber. You can’t lose Graham, the Saints’ big-time receiving tight end. Against New England, Graham got both shut out and banged up. His playing status for the Bills game was questionable all week. The Saints had to use Graham sparingly but did so effectively. His stat line — three catches, 37 yards, two touchdowns — was such that if you didn’t know he was hurt, it might have gone unnoticed.

3 FINAL THOUGHTS

In the big picture of a season with games against teams like the Falcons, Panthers, 49ers, Patriots and Seahawks, Sunday’s game with the Bills will likely end up registering barely a blip. It is worth more than that. The Saints made mistakes, were a bit rusty even, but they got superb production from Brees, pressured Bills quarterback Thad Lewis into multiple mistakes and bad throws and reclaimed any swagger or confidence that might have been lost in Foxborough, Mass. Now is hardly the time for a losing streak, and the Saints emphatically made sure they wouldn’t start one.

Scott Rabalais