Wednesday, September 25, 2013
QB Watch: Saints' Drew Brees
By Mike Triplett
A weekly examination of the New Orleans Saints' quarterback play:
Rewind: Drew Brees had his best performance of the young season Sunday in a thorough 31-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Brees completed 29 of 46 passes for 342 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. And in a rare feat, he ran for another 21 yards and a touchdown on six carries. After reviewing the tape of the game (more details to come later Wednesday), I was even more impressed by Brees’ performance. Many of his best throws came as he was absorbing a handful of big hits from the Cardinals’ rushers. And he was especially clutch down the stretch (see below).
I imagine he’ll hold tight to second place in Dan Graziano’s MVP watch later today behind Peyton Manning, who’s playing out of his mind right now.
Third-and-no-problem: Brees converted five straight third downs to ice the game during back-to-back TD drives over the third and fourth quarters -- all of them from third-and-5 or longer. He completed a 13-yard pass to Darren Sproles on third-and-7, scrambled for a 7-yard touchdown run on third-and-5, completed a 19-yard pass to Jimmy Graham on third-and-9, completed a 9-yard pass to Marques Colston on third-and-6 and threw a 7-yard TD pass to Graham on third-and-7.
Fast-forward: The Saints will face a solid Miami Dolphins defense on "Monday Night Football," with both teams bringing perfect 3-0 records into the game. But Brees has been especially hard to beat in prime-time games inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome over the years. The Saints have won eight consecutive prime-time home games and 11 of their past 12, dating back to 2008.
Prediction: Brees will tie his own NFL record with his ninth consecutive 300-yard game, as the Saints continue to rely on their passing attack. And they’ll move on to 4-0 with a 27-20 victory over the Dolphins.