It happened, finally! The Saints put together four quarters of football and came out on top with a well deserved and hard fought victory. Most notable was of course the record setting performance by Drew Brees of 48 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass, eclipsing Johnny Unitas’ record that stood for 52 years, against Brees’ former team no less. This record was listed #2 by the NFL Network in 2008 as “Records Never Be Broken”. You can’t say never now. As someone mentioned on twitter, I forget who, I’m interested in seeing how far Brees can take this. By no means does 48 signal the end, he could keep this streak going for much longer in theory. And don’t listen to anyone who tries to marginalize this record. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, John Elway, Dan Marino… none of these guys have been able to do it. We’ll see when Brees is done how long his record stands. Certainly this has to be another glorifying moment for Brees on his way to the NFL Hall of Fame. More importantly, the Saints are no longer winless. Below are my post game bullet style thoughts.
- I predicted prior to the game that Jimmy Graham would catch the record setting touchdown, but I also mentioned that I was secretly hoping Devery Henderson would get it. Well, I’m glad my prognostication skills were incorrect. It’s nice to see the former LSU speedster get a memorable moment in franchise history, he deserves it.
- Henderson was fantastic, Colston was even better. With Lance Moore out and Jimmy Graham hobbled and ineffective, Colston stepped up and took over. He had a couple drops and was well covered on some targets, but his 9 catch 131 yards 3 touchdown performance was one for the ages. Colston eclipsed Joe Horn for the most receiving touchdowns in franchise history with this game as well. Props to the most underrated receiver in the NFL.
- Pierre Thomas once again played with the kind of spunk and tenacity that is his calling card. Once he lost his helmet fighting for extra yards. How can you not love that guy?
- Joe Morgan reverted back to his old self, looking lost and dropping footballs. Horrible.
- Greg Camarillo came out of nowhere and got a few huge 3rd down receptions that moved the chains. Not a game changing performance by any means but he was a useful asset in the passing game which came as a surprise.
- For the second consecutive game the Saints could not run the football at all. 21 carries for 53 yards and a 2.5 yard average. As big of a threat as the passing game is alone, they have to do better than that. That is just shameful with the players they have. Credit Aubrayo Franklin in the trenches, it was tough sledding down there.
- The defense was once again very poor. They gave up 6.5 yards per carry, Philip Rivers threw for 354 yards, and the Chargers got plays in huge chunks. While they were able to get some timely sacks and an interception, which were great, it wasn’t much of an improvement honestly. Make no mistake, even with this win the Saints looked real bad defensively.
- The one thing that I felt at least gave them a chance was Spagnuolo blitzing like crazy. Numerous times the defense sent 5+ guys at Rivers. Yes the corners in single coverage got burned BADLY several times but it did yield 5 sacks and an interception. I’ll take that over the slow bleed to death defense we saw prior to this week. Let’s face it: the Saints are giving up huge chunks of yards either way.
- Something looked wrong with Jared Gaither at the end of the game, the left tackle for the Chargers. He hurt his team by staying in because clearly he couldn’t move and it cost the Chargers any chance at a game tying drive.
- The play of the game was a roughing the passer penalty on the Chargers that gave the Saints new life. Brees threw a pick 6 on that play that would have put the Saints down 17, and instead the offense got new life still down 10. If that roughing doesn’t occur the game might have been over at that point. Neither team was the same after that play.
- Corey White is atrocious in coverage. I don’t know what the solution is because Jabari Greer got hurt again. Hopefully it’s not serious because White is a massive liability out there.
- Will Herring is horrible in run support. Teams are just running right at him and he is getting destroyed on blocks. David Hawthorne can’t come back healthy soon enough.
- Mark Ingram’s pass protection is laughable.
- It’s hard to believe the Saints did so well offensively when you consider Lance Moore was out, Jimmy Graham had one reception, and Darren Sproles played poorly. Crazy.
- Junior Galette and Martez Wilson finally beat some lineman one on one and created some pressure in obvious passing downs. Those two need to play more. That said, Wilson needs to work on his boneheaded penalties.
- That kick returner Richard Goodman for the Chargers is going to break one any day. He is scary fast.
- Robert Meachem toasted the Saints for 2 TD’s. I would have been disgusted in a loss, but since the Saints won I am happy for him. I wish Meach nothing but the best, he was a great player for the Saints.
- Roman Harper got an interception, the first by a Saints’ safety since December of 2010. You knew once that happened a win tonight was a must.
Hope you enjoyed the game! Stay tuned for the player grades. Next week is a bye week so the Saints will get to rest up and get ready for a must win trip to Tampa in 2 weeks!