Saints morning report: Mr. Monday Night

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
8:00
AM ET
We previously broke down the New Orleans Saints’ run of dominance at home in prime-time games (a 10-game win streak, including the playoffs). But they’ve been particularly good on Monday night in recent years, both home and away.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Saints have the NFL’s longest active winning streak on "Monday Night Football," with eight straight wins dating back to 2008.

Drew Brees has been the Saints' starting quarterback in all eight of those games, giving him the fourth longest winning streak in MNF history. His numbers in those games are astounding: 308.4 yards per game, 24 touchdowns, five interceptions and a completion percentage of 71.1.

Brees actually will have two streaks on the line Monday night. He’s thrown for more than 300 yards in eight consecutive games. One more and he’ll tie himself for the longest streak in NFL history, set in 2011-12. No one else has had a run of more than six games.

Rare matchup: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Monday’s game between the 3-0 Saints and the 3-0 Miami Dolphins will mark the first time in 15 years that two teams at 3-0 or better meet on "Monday Night Football." The last time was Oct. 5, 1998, when the 4-0 Minnesota Vikings defeated the 4-0 Green Bay Packers, 37-24, at Lambeau Field.

Worth reading:
  • Check out ESPN colleague James Walker’s Miami Dolphins blog for everything you need to know about the opponent this week. Our extensive Double Coverage game preview is coming Friday. Among the highlights from Walker on Wednesday was a story on the Dolphins’ respect for the Saints’ surging defense.
  • WWLTV.com’s Bradley Handwerger dug up some interesting quotes from Saints coach Sean Payton from the last time the team started 3-0. The approach sounds awfully familiar. But, hey, it worked then. The Saints ran that streak to 13-0 and went on to win the Super Bowl.
Worth repeating: Dolphins coach Joe Philbin is a man after my own heart (and not just because he spent three years coaching the offensive line at my alma mater, Iowa). Philbin made a great point Wednesday about why it’s not worth beating your head against the wall to force the run game when the passing attack is working well (something both the Dolphins and Saints have done this season). I’m sure Payton appreciates the philosophy as well:

“Yeah, we could barely run the ball an inch against Cleveland and we ended up winning the game,” Philbin said of Miami’s Week 1 victory. “I think teams and coaching you have to be smart enough to go with what is working sometimes. I know Coach Payton and his staff is excellent, and sometimes while you would love to have the balance and you want to be multiple and run and pass the screen, sometimes you just have to stick with what is working. That has happened to us, and throughout the course of the season it happens to everyone in this league.”

Back to work: After an extra day of rest, the Saints will return to practice Thursday. We’ll also get our first injury report of the week. The Saints will then have full practices on Friday and Saturday as they simply push back everything in their weekly routine by one day.

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

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