November 18th, 2011
Saints stay unbeaten, beat Patriots 38-17
Updated Dec. 1, 2009 @ 4 a.m. ET
By Brett Martel, AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With one pinpoint throw after another, Drew Brees put New Orleans' pursuit of perfection into overdrive and left Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the dust.
Brees threw for a season-high 371 yards and five touchdowns, carving up coach Bill Belichick's defense like few quarterbacks ever have in the Saints' 38-17 victory Monday night.
"It only counts for one win on the stat sheet, but emotionally, those types of wins can mean a little more Clearance Washington Redskin 11 Devin Thomas red Jerseys On Sale," Brees said. "Anytime you can win, and win that way, it builds confidence for you."
By harassing Brady all game and routing one of the NFL's top powers, the Saints joined the Indianapolis Colts at 11-0 — the first time two NFL teams have opened with that many consecutive wins in the same season.
The convincing victory left little doubt about New Orleans' credentials as the Saints try to match the Patriots' 16-0 regular-season mark in 2007. New England remains the only team to go undefeated in a 16-game regular season — for now.
Brees threw touchdown passes to five different players: Pierre Thomas, Devery Henderson Patriots-Bears Week 14 game time changed_419, Robert Meachem, Darnell Dinkins and Marques Colston. In doing so, the Pro Bowl quarterback kept New Orleans on pace to narrowly eclipse New England's single-season scoring record of 589 points set in 2007.
"He was special," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "Let's just say he's playing really well."
It was the first time the Patriots allowed five TD passes in a game since Belichick, a defensive guru for decades in the NFL, took over as head coach in 2000, according to STATS LLC. The Saints averaged 9.6 yards per play, a club record that Brees called "ridiculous."
Brees went 18 of 23 and finished with a perfect passer rating of 158.3. His average of 16.1 yards per passing attempt also was a team record.
"We were able to accomplish something offensively tonight that was pretty special," Brees said.
It was the second time the Patriots (7-4) lost to an unbeaten team on the road in three weeks. Unlike in Indianapolis, there was no drama at the end this time, only thunderous chants of, "Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints?"
"There's obviously a big gap between us," Brady said. "It wasn't nearly as competitive as we all were expecting."
Brady, returning to the Louisiana Superdome for the first time since leading the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title in 2002, won't have many fond memories of this game. He was intercepted twice, sacked once, hit as he threw several times and pulled from the game in the fourth quarter with New Orleans leading by three TDs.
"There's a reason why they are 11-0," Brady said. "They played really well and we didn't play up to their level."
Brady finished 21 of 36 for 237 yards and did not throw a TD pass. He did, however, become New England's career passing leader, eclipsing Drew Bledsoe's mark of 29,657 yards.
Brady fell short of tying the record for consecutive games with 300 yards passing. He had done it in his previous five games, one short of the mark shared by Steve Young, Kurt Warner and Rich Gannon.
The Patriots were within a touchdown early in the third quarter after marching 81 yards on a drive highlighted by Brady's 47-yard completion to Randy Moss, which set up Laurence Maroney's 2-yard TD.
New Orleans needed only three plays to get it back, though. Brees hit Colston along the right sideline and the receiver turned it into a 68-yard gain by eluding Jonathan Wilhite's tackle. That set up tight end Dinkins' first TD of the season on a 2-yard pass to make it 31-17.
Belichick called his defense "really bad."
"We had several blown coverages and they took advantage," he said. "There were enormous mistakes on our part. You can't make those mistakes against a good team."
Clearly worried about his club's ability to stop Brees, Belichick made his latest unconventional fourth-down call.
Unlike in Indianapolis, where the Patriots tried to put the game away by going for it in their own territory late in the fourth quarter Irsay- Manning will become top-paid player_213, New England this time went for it on fourth-and-4 from the New Orleans 10 in the third quarter.
Brady's pass for Moss along the left sideline was broken up by Mike McKenzie, who was playing for the first time since fracturing his right kneecap a year ago. The play preserved New Orleans' two-touchdown lead.
McKenzie apparently had little trouble learning the system of new Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. McKenzie also had an interception in the first half that stalled a promising Patriots drive and led to a Saints score. Darren Sharper intercepted Brady in the fourth quarter, ending the quarterback's night.
Brees' scoring passes of 18 yards to Thomas, 75 yards to Henderson and 38 yards to Meachem gave New Orleans a 24-10 lead at halftime.
Brees — who threw six TDs in Week 1 against Detroit — made the long TD to Henderson look easy, recognizing that Wilhite's blitz had left the receiver wide open. Brees' 20-yard TD pass to Colston with 7:49 to go left little doubt about the outcome.
NOTES: The Saints have 22 interceptions this season, which leads the NFL. Sharper has eight. ... Saints CB Chris McAlister Wholesale San Diego Chargers 83 Vincent Jackson dark blue Jerseys For Sale, signed two weeks ago, played for the first time since having surgery on his right knee a year ago. ... The Saints said cornerback Randall Gay had a leg injury but were not more specific. ... New England lost a regular-season game in New Orleans for the first time after winning its previous four.
Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Belichick's maneuvers compensate for weaknesses on 'D'
Following are several whispers we've heard recently from around the AFC East:
• Some people questioned head coach Bill Belichick's defensive prowess after the unit's collapses earlier this season. But the Patriots' head coach can still outsmart the best of them, using, for example, a new formation with just one defensive lineman on the field on passing downs. He also throws undrafted rookie LB Dane Fletcher and seldom-used LB Shawn Crable onto the field as part of the sub package, and both players have made solid impacts this season.
• Second-round pick Torell Troup didn't see the field much during the Bills' first five games, registering eight tackles and no sacks before the bye week. But with the team struggling against the run, the 315-pound rookie nose tackle will see the field more often now, adding bulk to the defensive line. Opponents have rushed for a league-high 182.4 yards a game against Buffalo Wholesale Yankees 7 Mantle White Stripe 2011 Women Jerseys For Sale Wilfork would be angered by franchise tag_820, as the team's 3-4 defense hasn't been able to plug holes along the line.
Patriots announce Haynesworth trade; reportedly sign CB Arrington
The Patriots officially announced the team's trade for former Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth Wholesale New York Mets 7 Jose Reyes white blue strip Jerseys For Sale Brady (foot) probable for Sunday_477, which means he passed his physical.
The Pats traded a 2013 fifth-round pick to Washington for Haynesworth elichick's maneuver, who is expected to improve the team's interior pass rush from the D-line. He had trouble with conditioning last season, making the official announcement of the trade notable.
The Pats also signed CB Kyle Arrington to a two-year deal worth $3.275 million, according to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss. Arrington, who was an exclusive rights free agent Discount Steelers 36 Bettis white with XLV superbowl patch Jerseys For Sale, started 14 games last season.
The way we see it
The trade had been discussed and reported for Haynesworth, but with official word from the Patriots, he appears to be in good condition Cheap Denver Broncos 30 Terrell Davis Premier Orange Throwback Jerseys On Sale, the first hurdle for the Pats in this Haynesworth experiment.
Arrington won't be starting in 2011 with Leigh Bodden back from injury. He will compete with Darius Butler and Ras-I Dowling to be the team's third corner. Look for most of Arrington's contributions to come on special teams.
Pats' secondary has solid base for long haul
If the Patriots collapse and fail to make the playoffs, a big chunk of blame will land on the secondary. Injuries to the unit and an ineffective pass rush don't help, but the 29th-ranked pass defense through eight games is not something to ignore. No changes are coming this season, and the only fresh face on the unit, Jarrad Page, has been out with a calf injury. It's hard to believe considering this season's poor numbers Wholesale Green Bay Packers 21 Woodson green C patch Jerseys For Sale Patriots positional analysis- Defensive backs_195, but the future of the secondary is incredibly bright with a starting four of Devin McCourty and Leigh Bodden at corner, and Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung at safety. Chung Wholesale Phoenix Suns 19 Raja Bell purple Jerseys For Sale, who missed two games with a knee injury Report- Patriots likely to cut OL Kaczur_204, is producing the way the Patriots had hoped when they drafted him. Pair that with how well McCourty has played in his rookie season against top receivers, and one team observer believes that, if Meriweather stays long term Supply Italy Away soccer jersey for 2010 World Cup For Sale, this group could be a very good secondary for the next few seasons.
The Patriots likely wish they had an easier opponent following an embarrassing Week Nine loss to the Browns. Instead Wholesale Dallas Cowboys 21 Jenkins Mike white Jerseys On Sale, they have to travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in the Sunday-night game.
The Steelers provide a lot of tough matchups for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to try and exploit. The best way to disrupt the Pats' high-powered passing game is to get after the quarterback, and few teams do it better than Pittsburgh with their linebackers. Tom Brady also benefits by having a consistent run game, something extremely hard to come by against the Steelers. And the Pats have the 29th-ranked pass defense, while the Steelers counter with Big Ben Roethlisberger and speedy WR Mike Wallace.
But you can never count out Belichick Cheap Nike Air Max 2011 On Sale - Discount Nike Air Max 2011 Store, whose defense has found ways to win games against good teams with critically timed plays (see: Ravens, Chargers and Vikings). Belichick is also an incredible 22-2 following a loss since 2003.
The Patriots will find a way to keep it close, but Brady is going to need a big game. He has not had the accuracy or production he had earlier this season since Randy Moss left Wholesale 10-11 Villareal Home Soccer Jersey On Sale, and last week reminded us the Patriots need to win on their offense, not the defense. But this matchup is not a good one for New England.