FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Coach Mike Smith keeps searching for answers to fix the Atlanta Falcons.
That's been nearly impossible to accomplish during a five-game losing streak.
Smith is hoping that a few days off will give his players a fresh perspective. They will return to practice on Tuesday.
The Falcons, a No. 1 playoff seed a year ago, have the NFC's worst record at 2-9.
Smith took some satisfaction in keeping Thursday's score close against New Orleans, but he acknowledges that some problems have only gotten worse since September.
Quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked five times and hit 10 times, due in large part to faulty play on the offensive line.
The Falcons' defense missed 14 tackles and gave up an average of 12 yards per catch.