Sean Payton thought Trevor Siemian played well overall

Trevor Siemian‘s first NFL start since 2019 ended with the Saints losing 27-25 to the Falcons, but Saints head coach Sean Payton didn’t lay the blame for the defeat at the feet of his quarterback.

Siemian lost a fumble while the Falcons were building a 24-6 lead over the Saints, but threw two fourth quarter touchdown passes to help get New Orleans back into the game. The second touchdown put the Saints on top with a minute to play, but Matt Ryan led Atlanta to a game-winning field goal.

Siemian said the late success didn’t make him feel any better because the team lost the game, but head coach Sean Payton had a more charitable view of how the quarterback played on Sunday.

“Overall, he played well,” Payton said in his press conference. “We missed some pickups. He had a few throws in there that were not primary receivers and played with poise, brought us back. I thought, overall, I felt like it was good. Of course, we will look at it and grade it. I thought we dropped a few balls, more than our fair share. Like I said, we were third-and-long, I don’t know how many times with the penalties in the first half, frustrating.”

The Saints will be in Nashville to face the surging Titans next weekend and another slow start would leave them on a path to a loss they’d like to avoid while trying to chart a course to the postseason.