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Saints shift focus to Falcons after preseason finale loss

Saints lose in Miami after allowing late TD, focus turns to opener against Falcons.

The New Orleans Saints are now focusing their attention on their archival and Week 1 opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, after Thursdays 24-21 preseason finale loss to the Miami Dolphins.


Punter Thomas Morstead's outfit for the plane ride home to New Orleans from Miami said it all.


He tweeted out this picture of himself, sporting a t-shirt of a Saints fist choking a falcon:



The Saints coaching staff has some homework to do first though, diagnosing the 11 penalties that cost the Black and Gold 80 yards, as well as whittling the roster down to 53 by Saturday.


"We did some good things tonight. Overall, though, the penalties and the turnovers really hurt us," coach Sean Payton said. "Penalties in the first half, we had 10. And the three fumbles, those are big plays where we've just got to be better with the football. I thought a lot of guys gave some good effort. This will be an interesting tape to watch."


Twenty-two hopefuls will get pink slips by Saturday afternoon.


The situation for those competing for a backup running back role became more complicated. Travaris Cadet did not make the trip to Miami, but Payton isn't revealing the reason. Cadet's absence opened a gaping window of opportunity for Khiry Robinson, which he vaulted through, seemingly bolstering his case for a job in New Orleans.


The rookie out of West Texas A&M personally put up 115 rushing yards during 22 attempts against the Dolphins. For good measure, he added 50 yards receiving, proving his hands can be as much of a weapon as Cadet's.


However, Robinson's two fumbles will count against him: one midfield and a more painful episode on the goal line.


Two players left the game after being injured:  wide receiver Nick Toon hurt his chest and defensive end Glenn Foster tweaked an ankle after a stellar preseason. Payton says both injuries are minor and the two young players should be fine.