this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By SHELDON MICKLES Advocate sportswriter Published: Nov 1, 2007 METAIRIE — In the aftermath of the New Orleans Saints’ 31-10 bashing of the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, wide receivers Marques Colston and David Patten marveled at the play of ...
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Brees back in last year’s zone
By SHELDON MICKLES
Published: Nov 1, 2007
METAIRIE — In the aftermath of the New Orleans Saints’ 31-10 bashing of the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, wide receivers Marques Colston and David Patten marveled at the play of quarterback Drew Brees.
That was an easy thing to do, however, considering they were the main beneficiaries of Brees’ pinpoint accuracy in the trouncing of the 49ers.
Colston caught eight passes for 85 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, while Patten piled up 109 yards on five receptions in the first half —including a 43-yard grab on the first play from scrimmage.
They weren’t the only ones who were impressed as Brees was officially named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday by the NFL. The award is the first this season for the Saints, who are riding a three-game winning streak into this week’s matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The award came as no big surprise after Brees hit on 31 of 39 passes for 336 yards and four scores. The completions, yardage and TDs were season highs, as were his completion percentage (79.5) and passer rating [136.8].
While it might have been one of his best games statistically since joining the Saints in 2006, Brees, who was twice named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week last season, said there were a few like that a year ago.
“I think I’ve had quite a few games like that, but looking back I kind of felt like we had great rhythm and great tempo,” Brees said Wednesday. “I’m kind of kicking myself on a couple of throws. I wish I could have them back. I feel I missed an opportunity for a couple more completions. But I’ll take that performance every time as long as we get the ‘W.’ ”
While he was sizzling against the 49ers, Brees is probably happier about the body of work he and the Saints have put together the last three weeks. After an 0-4 start in which he threw only one TD and nine interceptions, he’s turned it around with eight TDs and just one pick in their three-game winning streak.
While it’s not Tom Brady-like numbers, Brees is pleased that things are starting to look up personally — much like when a baseball hitter is in a zone — and for his team. In those last three outings, he’s 78-of-109 (71.5 percent) for 801 yards and has compiled a quarterback rating of 113.0.
“It is a level of concentration and focus, I guess,” he said. “It’s kind of like nothing else is going on around me except that play. You’re so locked in on your responsibility and your role and making sure everyone else knows what to do. I guess you could say it is a zone.”
Saints coach Sean Payton praised his quarterback’s play in his weekly news conference on Monday, saying Brees was “accurate and decisive.”
He said Brees was trying to create more big plays earlier in the season, which resulted in a lot of his interceptions because they were playing from behind all the time.
“I’m not surprised at all when he has one of those games because I’ve seen that a lot,” Payton said. “He’s a good decision-maker, he’s accurate, and I’m glad he’s our quarterback. He’s a tremendous competitor and he gives us a great chance to win each weekend.”
Colston said Brees is playing near the level he did when he earned All-Pro honors a year ago and earned the FedEx Air Player of the Year Award while throwing for a club-record 4,418 yards and 26 TDs.
“I think Drew is back to being Drew,” Colston said. “The first four weeks of the season, that was not Drew. Now, we’re seeing the Drew we all know.”
Saints running back Reggie Bush said Brees is just beginning to round into his All-Pro form of a year ago.
“He’s just getting started. I’m confident in Drew that he’s going to do his thing regardless,” Bush said. “He obviously had a rough start, but we all did.
“We’re all in this together. We had a rough start, but we lost those games together. It’s not just him. But at the end of the day, he played a great game last week.”
Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio knows trying to stop Brees, who hasn’t been sacked in the last four games, will be a challenge for his team.
“He’s playing very good football,” Del Rio said. “Last year, he led that team and that organization and took them to the NFC Championship game. He’s a very talented player, a quick decision-maker, accurate passer.
“You can just see the way he operates. This guy is in charge and in control. He knows what he wants to do with the football and doesn’t take sacks.”
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