Truly great teams find a way to win games that appear to be hopeless.
And, under that standard, the Saints are a truly great team.
“There was really no doubt on our sideline that we’d come back and win this game,” quarterback Drew Brees said of the mood when the score was 24-3.
The moment at which others began to believe came after Brees persuaded coach Sean Payton to go for the touchdown with five seconds on the clock and no timeouts in the second quarter on a first-down play from the Miami one. Brees plunged in for the score — and suddenly 24-10 at the half looked not so bad.
It looked a lot better less than a minute into the third quarter, with safety Darren Sharper doing what he does, picking off a pass and taking it to paydirt. 24-17.
Thereafter, the Dolphins pushed the lead back to ten a couple of times, 27-17 and then 34-24. But Ricky Williams’ third touchdown of the day was the last score for the Dolphins.
And the Saints just kept rolling.
They scored 22 more points to zero from Miami, giving New Orleans a total of 45 or more four the fourth time in six games. All told, the Saints outscored the Dolphins 43-10 after spotting Miami a three-touchdown lead.
Next Monday, the Saints finally get a chance to show off their new ride in the NFC South, against the Falcons. With five more divisional games coming up — including a total of four against the hapless Panthers and Bucs — the Saints are on track to nail down home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
And if the road to the Super Bowl goes through the Superdome, it’ll be virtually impossible to keep the Saints from making a return trip to Miami in February.
For the Dolphins, the promise of back-to-back wins following three straight losses has melted into a 2-4 record that puts them in tough position to make it to the playoffs. And with back-to-back road games against the Jets and Patriots on tap, it could be essentially over for the Fins by the middle of November.