New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees produced a majestic performance to lead the Saints to a 38-17 victory over the New England Patriots on Monday and maintain their unbeaten start to the season. The Saints joined the Indianapolis Colts at 11-0 with the win, the first time two teams have started an NFL season with that many victories.
Brees threw five touchdown passes as the Saints overwhelmed New England, winners of three Super Bowls this decade. He finished with 371 passing yards and threw for three TDs in an 11-minute spell in the second quarter as New Orleans took command. "We have so much respect for [the Patriots], and that's what we're trying to be: that team that year in and year out competes for a championship," Brees said.
"We have put together a special team and we're excited about the situation we're in. "It only counts for one win on the stat sheet, but emotionally, those types of wins can mean a little more. "Anytime you can win, and win that way, it builds confidence for you." "He was special," said the Saints' coach, Sean Payton. "Let's just say he's playing really well." Five different players scored touchdowns for the Saints while their defence limited Tom Brady to 237 yards passing, no TDs and two interceptions.
New England led 7-3 in the first quarter before Pierre Thomas (18 yards) and Devery Henderson (75 yards) grabbed scoring passes from Brees on consecutive New Orleans drives in the second. Laurence Maroney had two rushing TDs for the Patriots, who were only 24-17 behind with less than 11 minutes left in the third quarter, but Brees put the game out of reach with scoring throws to Darnell Dinkins and Marques Colston.
New England's coach, Bill Belichick, said his team's defence played "really bad" and contributed to their own downfall. "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." "There is obviously a big gap between us and it wasn't as competitive as we were all expecting," said Brady, who had his string of five consecutive 300-yard passing games snapped to fall one game short of tying an NFL record.
* With agencies