In a game that never really seemed in doubt, Drew Brees and rest of the Saints’ offense repeatedly victimized the hapless Giants defense en route to seven touchdowns and a lopsided 25 point victory. The Saints held New York without a touchdown for the first 34 1/2 minutes of regulation, and never saw their lead fall below double digits once Jummy Graham scored with two minutes remaining in the first quarter, making the score 14-3. New Orleans was clearly dominant in this game, as the Saints made their case to be labeled as the NFL’s best team outside of Green Bay. Now sitting just one game back of San Francisco (though the 49ers will have the tie-breaker with one of their losses coming against an AFC opponent), New Orleans can begin to set their sights on both a division title as well as a possible first round playoff bye. Notes on a very enjoyable game to watch after the jump.
- Yet another MVP performance out of Mr. Brees. The Saints’ all-pro QB completed 24 of his 38 passes for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns, and added a 5th one on the ground. Quite simply, Brees just had his way with the Giants’ defense from start to finish. He has thrown for 3,689 yards this season, an NFL record through 11 games, and is currently on pace to break Dan Marino’s single season record for passing yards in a season. It’ll be tough to surpass the QB of an undefeated team, but Brees is gaining ground on the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers in the MVP race.
- Great all-around effort from the Saints’ O-line and rushing attack. New Orleans totaled a whopping 205 yards on the ground, and all three of the Saints’ RBs had at least 8 carries and averaged at least 6 yards per attempt. Ingram led the way with 13 rushes for 80 yards, and both he and Thomas found the end zone in the 4th quarter to help put the game away. To an extent, this was a case of the Saints using the pass to set up the run, but if that’s what gets this run game going, who am I to complain?
- Another well-balanced output from New Orleans receiving core. Graham (84 yds), Henderson (67 yds) and Moore (54 yds) hauled in 5 catches apiece, and Colston (78 yds) grabbed three more of his own. Graham and Moore both scored twice, and the three Saints RBs totaled 7 receptions of their own. On that note – is there a better screen play runningback in the NFL than Pierre Thomas? It seems like every game, he’s on the receiving end of an easy screen pass from Brees, and routinely takes it 25 yards. Regardless, another all-around great job from this entire group.
- This Saints defense is finally starting to look a little better against the run. Granted, Giants’ starter Brandon Jacobs looked awfully slow last night, but the front seven did a good job making sure he didn’t break through for any big gains with the exception of his 8 yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter. Hopefully the unit can build on this effort against a Detroit team next week that has an equally weak rushing attack with Javhid Best recently placed on IR.
- For two and a half games, the Saints had been moving towards perfecting their “bend but don’t break” pass defense. Though the passing yards allowed were plentiful, the New Orleans defense had only allowed two touchdowns in that timeframe, repeatedly holding opponents to field goal attempts inside or just outside of the red zone. In the second half of this game, the Saints’ secondary apparently decided to check out a little early, letting Eli do basically whatever he wanted. I won’t harp too much on it because the game never really seemed in doubt, but I’m disappointed in both the defense itself for relaxing as well as DC Gregg Williams for letting his defense get complacent. Yes, two of the Giants’ three second half touchdown drives were extended thanks to questionable personal foul penalties, but even so, the Giants were moving the ball with ease, as evidenced by Eli Manning’s 21 consecutive completed passes. Not a good way to finish off the game, and a much better effort will be needed against Stafford, Megatron and co. next weekend.
Short week coming up for the Saints after a nice 15-day break before last night’s game, as the team will host the Detroit Lions in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome next Sunday night. Expect a TON of passing yards from both sides, and a lot of points. Brees and the New Orleans O-line will catch a big break in this one, as the NFL has just announced that top defensive lineman Ndomakung Suh will be suspended for the next two games after his actions against Green Bay on Thanksgiving. Regardless, this one is going to be a shootout, and a game that is really fun to watch. I like the Saints to come out on top, but it could be one of those contests that comes down to the final drive; that being said, who would you rather have in that type of situation than Brees? Keep the Dome rocking, fellow Whodats, and you’ll push our team to victory.