Photograph by Jonathan Bachman
If this feels like the biggest Saints win in franchise history, well, it's because it is. A decisive win on Monday Night Football against the team that has set the standard for excellence in the NFL this decade? Yea, for the New Orleans Saints, it's never been better than this.
Of course, as I've mentioned before, with the Saints still undefeated, EVERY win from here on out will be the biggest in Saints history (especially when it comes to the playoffs when it's win or go home). With New Orleans having to play just two more teams with winning records (@ Atlanta and vs. Dallas), a playoff spot is all but secured. Now it's about gaining homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. For now though, let's enjoy this win.
- Drew Brees -- He was perfect tonight -- no, literally. His passer rating was a perfect 158.3. Brees also became the only player to throw three touchdowns in a quarter against any Bill Belichick-led team and it was just the fourth time a Belichick squad gave up four passing touchdowns. What's that? oh, Brees had five touchdowns you say? Well isn't that something? "Let's just say he's playing real well," coach Sean Payton said afterwards. Yes, coach, let's say that.
- Marques Colston -- He only had four catches but he made them count. He finished with 121 yards and a touchdown that pretty much put the nail in the Pats' coffin. Colston also helped me clinch in fantasy football this week and we know that's what really matters.
- Devery Henderson -- Henderson's 33-yard catch on the first play from scrimmage for the Saints set the tone for a night where he finished with 116 yards and a touchdown on a play where he was left wide open. Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that the Saints have the deepest receiving corps in the league?
- Mike McKenzie -- Seems ages ago that the Saints cut McKenzie and even more since he last played. Over a year off the field and he gets an INT in his first game back? That's what you call a professional.
- Darren Sharper -- Someone look for the Fountain of Youth in Orleans Parish because Sharper has clearly found it. He's been playing great all season and his INT in the fourth quarter gave him eight for the year and was the dirt on the Patriots (you know, on top of the coffin Colston put the last nail in). Also, his 355 return yards off interceptions is just three shy of the Baltimore Ravens' Ed Reed 2005 record.
- The Entire Saints Defense -- I could spend all day listing players that contributed to this win but really, you have to just credit the unit as a whole. Two sacks, a forced fumble and two interceptions just beging to tell the story tonight. The Saints defense made the Patriots offense look bad to mediocre at best and that's not something teams have been able to do for quite some time.
- Tom Brady -- Brady didn't look as poised as he did when he led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl win in the Superdome back in 2001. Frustrated, flustered, and even scared at times is how I would've described his play tonight.
- Sedrick Ellis -- I hate to pick on a guy who played so well coming off an injury, but just what in the hell was he thinking when he was trying to dance around with the football before fumbling it? Stick to sacking quarterbacks and stuffing running backs, big boy.
- Monday Night Football broadcasting crew -- I didn't get to listen to anything they said on air but I'm sure there was plenty of cringe-inducing moments. Enlighten me in the comments.
- Robert Meachem -- On any other night he'd get a dish of nice, hot gumbo with his five receptions for 69 yards and a TD, but alas, too many players got gumbo and it's silly to think anyone could make enough to feed every Saints player. Cheer up, lukewarm Abita can be chilled in a frosty-cold mug!
- Pierre Thomas -- Didn't do anything too flashy and didn't really get too many rushing yards (64) but he was effective when called upon and you gotta love the effort he made on hist touchdown.
- John Carney -- Maybe his first field goal, which he banked in off the post, should've been an indication that he wasn't going to make that second field goal attempt late in the fourth. Either that or he just got tired from kicking all those extra points.
- Jeremy Shockey -- Surprising fact: Shockey has caught a pass in 106 straight games. If only he could catch touchdowns so prolifically.