NFL Nation: 09 Week 12 RR

Rapid Reaction: Saints 38, Patriots 17

November, 30, 2009

NEW ORLEANS -- Not often can this be written: The New England Patriots were in over their heads.

The New Orleans Saints bamboozled the Patriots in almost every phase Monday night and thrilled the Superdome crowd with a 38-17 slaughter to remain undefeated.

The Patriots head back to Foxborough with a gut check ahead.

They are 0-4 in true road games and won't have the opportunity to record a signature victory the rest of the way. They still have a handle on the AFC East. Only one of their remaining opponents has a winning record, the 6-5 Jacksonville Jaguars.

But New England has a lot of question marks. The defense was pitiful, the offense mostly pedestrian.

The Patriots looked decent on the ground. Laurence Maroney rushed 15 times for 64 yards and two touchdowns, but the Saints were superior all around.

Drew Brees cast a long shadow over Tom Brady. Even the Saints' dilapidated secondary played better than the Patriots' defensive backs, who had been making big plays lately.

Not on this night, when they got caught watching Brees' long aerials sail over the heads and land in the mitts of this Saints guy and that Saints guy and the other Saints guy. Brees completed 18 of 23 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns to five teammates.

Brady was less than phenomenal. His streak of consecutive 300-yard games ended at five, one shy of the NFL record.

He was 21 of 36 for 237 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions. The first was costly at a time the Patriots could have asserted themselves -- a 7-3 lead and one play after Wes Welker returned a punt 41 yards into Saints territory. Brady threw another bad one in the fourth quarter to kill any hopes of a comeback.

Brady completed only one pass to Randy Moss in the first half, two in the second, although they connected for 47 yards to set up Maroney's second touchdown.

Rapid Reaction: Saints 38, Patriots 17

November, 30, 2009
NEW ORLEANS -- For the last hour or so, e-mails and texts have been coming in from friends, who should know better than to e-mail or text while I’m working, to ask if I saw this coming.

I’ll answer one and all now: No. Not like this. Not anything like this.

Yeah, sure, I thought the Saints were very good and had a chance to win against New England. But I thought, if they won, it would be on some dramatic last-second play.

But absolutely blowing the Patriots out? No. And if anybody told you that, they were either a delusional Saints’ fan or they were lying.

You can’t make up what happened Monday night. With rookie Malcolm Jenkins and two really old cornerbacks (Mike McKenzie and Chris McAlister), who were signed off the street in the past two weeks, having to play significant roles because of injuries, this one should have been a mismatch for Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker.

Turned out it was a mismatch. The Saints made Brady look ordinary and I’m having a tough time recalling Moss doing anything of significance.

By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quarterback have a better game than Drew Brees. All right, that’s all I’ve got right now. I’m heading down to the locker room for post-game interviews. I’ll be back with a full column in a


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Thursday, 12/18
Saturday, 12/20
Sunday, 12/21
Monday, 12/22