this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Tom Pedulla, USA TODAY NEW ORLEANS — Quarterback Drew Brees is showing the way in what has become a serious bid for a flawless 16-0 regular season by the New Orleans Saints. His perfect 158.3 passer rating keyed a ...
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By Tom Pedulla, USA TODAY
NEW ORLEANS — Quarterback Drew Brees is showing the way in what has become a serious bid for a flawless 16-0 regular season by the New Orleans Saints.
His perfect 158.3 passer rating keyed a 38-17 rout of the New England Patriots Monday night that underscored how capable high-powered New Orleans (11-0) may be of running the table through Super Bowl XLIV.
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"He's got a great vibe for the game," said wide receiver Robert Meachem, "and you just feed off of him."
Meachem was one of five players to pull in touchdown passes in the Saints' multi-faceted attack as Brees nailed 18 of 23 throws for a season-high 371 yards against New England (7-4). He was not intercepted.
It was typical of Brees — and indicative of why the MVP candidate ranks among elite quarterbacks — that he wanted more.
"You always think about the ones you miss. All in all, we got the job done," he said. "We were able to accomplish something offensively that was pretty special."
Brees entered a zone few discover in repeatedly torching the Patriots' man-to-man coverage.
"That's confidence in the guys I'm throwing to and the guys up front blocking," he said. "I feel like we feel that way a lot.
"That's the kind of offense we have. It's taken a long time to create that confidence."
Brees is in his fourth season in New Orleans after spending the first five years of his career with the San Diego Chargers. He and head coach Sean Payton, who arrived at the same time, have taken the league's most potent offense to unimagined heights.
The Saints have outscored opponents 407-221. Brees established a franchise single-game record by averaging 16.1 yards per pass attempt vs. New England, shattering the previous mark of 13.65 set by Bobby Hebert against the Phoenix Cardinals on Oct. 18, 1992.
Brees and his receivers emphasize that their accomplishments reflect everything that occurred in the days before kickoff.
"We drill so much," said Marques Colston, "the quarterback and the receivers are always on the same page."
Colston has developed into a big-time receiver since he was drafted in the seventh round out of Hofstra in 2006, the same year New Orleans signed Brees. He finished with 121 receiving yards to join Devery Henderson (116) in breaking the century mark.
Colston scored on a 20-yard pass in the fourth quarter. Henderson found himself alone for a 75-yard score on a botched New England coverage in the second quarter.
"They capitalize when you make mistakes," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. "You can't make many against them and you can't make big ones. We made some big ones."
Belichick left himself open to second-guessing by staying with man-to-man coverage for most of the evening.
"We thought they would change," Meachem said. "When they didn't change, we just kept coming." New Orleans amassed 480 yards in total offense.
"They played really good football, something we really haven't seen on film from anyone we've played so far," said New England's Randy Moss. It was a huge compliment because the Patriots lost to Indianapolis 35-34 two weeks before.
After downplaying the shot at an undefeated season and his own performance, Brees did not attempt to minimize the Saints' ability to average 9.6 yards per play against New England.
He called it "pretty ridiculous."
Drew Brees, the man at the center of the surprising Saints - USATODAY.com
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