Everyone who headed to the Superdome on Monday night went to watch a football game, but a beatification broke out. Saint Drew Brees launched himself into the heavens, or record books, once again by eclipsing the All-Time passing yardage mark held by local boy done good, Peyton Manning.
Brees’ name is splattered all over the NFL record books and assuming he plays another two years could hold his records for a very long time. That is until the NFL keeps watering down the defensive game and passing for 500 yards a game becomes the norm. But that’s the future and I don’t actually want a flying car so back to Monday Night Church…or Football.
Everything about Monday night went perfectly for New Orleans. The crowd was rolling, the offense was flowing and the defense finally locked in on Washington’s Alex Smith and the rest was just your typical 43-19 beat down in the Superdome.
Speaking of Saints how about the resurrection of Mark Ingram? It was great to see #22 banging the ball inside. Ingram got his first two touchdowns of the year but his most impressive play might have been how little Alvin Kamara — 6 runs, 3 catches — had to tote the rock. Kamara had a very quiet night by his superstar standards, and an easy night at the office could be much needed down the road.
The run game was completely complementary to the near perfect night through the air by the 39-year-old wunderkind, Drew Brees. There have been some all-time records achieved by players who were past their prime, the crowds cheering for an old veteran who has seen better days but got to the finish line. Manning, Brett Farve, Emmit Smith, all of them fit the bill.
Not Drew Brees.
On a night that Brees accomplished his latest record he put in a near-perfect performance. The stat line is amazing – 26-for-29, 363 yards, 3 touchdowns. I’m sure the passer rating is phenomenal as well but I’m old school and that’s just a useless stat.
Anyway, Brees could not miss. Which, as you know, isn’t that out of the ordinary. The guy has just made a long career of showing up and completely dominating games. It must be quite frustrating for defenses.
Brees sliced and diced Washington, hitting nine different receivers (including himself). Along the way, Brees and Michael Thomas made easy work of Washington’s resident smack talker, Josh Norman. So much so that Norman was benched for a spell in the second half. Tight ends Ben Watson and Josh Hill combined for six catches and a touchdown and Ingram caught two balls out of the backfield, one being a beautiful screen confirming that between Kamara and Ingram, the flats are always a great option for the Saints.
Speaking of options, say hello to Saints rookie wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith, who posted his first breakout performance of his career. Smith, who played for the paper national champion UCF Knights last year, entered the game with only one catch on the year. Unfortunately for Washington, Smith kept getting lost in their backfield and Brees was happy to take advantage of sloppy play by hitting Smith deep for touchdowns of 62 and 35 yards. The kid’s performance, in conjunction with another solid game by Cameron Meredith, has to send chills down defensive coordinator’s spines as the Saints officially have weapons everywhere.
It’s all because of Mr. Brees, who now holds the all-time passing record with 72,103 yards and a whole lotta’ football still to be played. The next game, we will celebrate Brees joining the 500 touchdown club.
Congratulations to Mr. Brees and I’ll leave you with the quote you’ve most likely been hearing over and over since Brees broke the record. As the world looked to Brees and held him up as an NFL god, Brees dropped to his knee and delivered a message, not to the world but, more importantly, his children.
“I love you guys; you can accomplish anything in life if you’re willing to work for it, right?”
Yeah, you right.
Shift gets real
Saints enter the bye week at 4-1 and all alone in first place in the NFC South. While some think its better to have a bye later in the schedule, this bye seems to be coming at the perfect time as the Saints are getting knicked up across the board. Manti Te’o and Ted Ginn Jr. didn’t play last night. P.J. Williams, A.J. Klein and Marshon Lattimore all took injuries during the game. Seems like some rest is needed before the big push.
What a push it will be as the next five game “shift” is a doozy. In short, the shift gets real.
After the bye the Saints will travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens (3-2). The next week finds them back at the scene of the crime in Minnesota (2-2-1). After that tough stretch, the Saints will host the undefeated L.A. Rams (5-0) in a game of the year candidate. After that major slug fest the Saints will have to avoid a letdown as they travel the next week to battle the surprising Bengals (4-1).
I would worry but, hey, a team can accomplish anything in life if they are willing to work for it, right?
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Port Orleans Brewing’s “Gleason” India Pale Ale
Playlist Recommendation: Drew Brees’ Pre-game Huddle Compilation
Around the Way
On the opposite end of happiness lies the Tulane Green Wave football program. This was the year they were supposed to break through and get a bowl game but that storyline seems a million miles away as Tulane took another loss to drop to 2-4 at the halfway mark. The latest was a 37-21 loss to the UC Bearcats that felt worse than the score would indicate.
To become bowl eligible the Green Wave will have to win four of the last six games. They will most likely be underdogs in four of the matchups.