With head coach Sean Payton suspended for all of the 2012 season, it took Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints until mid-November to earn their fourth victory a season ago.
With Payton back at the helm, Brees and the Saints appear to have regained the form that led them to three straight playoff appearances from 2009-2011.
Brees threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns as the Saints improved to 4-0 with a 38-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, He completed 30 of 39 passes and finished with a 144.5 passer rating on the night.
Brees led the Saints to four touchdowns in five possessions over the course of the second and third quarters to blow open a one score game. Lamar Miller scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to pull Miami within 14-10 with 3:35 left in the second quarter but a costly interception of Ryan Tannehill by Jabari Greer gave the Saints a chance to score again right before the half. Tannehill was intercepted three times during the game. He completed 22 of 35 passes for 249 yards with a touchdown and the three picks.
Brees connected with Darren Sproles for a 13-yard touchdown to extend the Saints’ lead to 21-10 at the break. Brees added two more scores on touchdown passes to Benjamin Watson and a second touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham to give New Orleans a 35-10 lead.
The Saints will get a tough test the next two weeks with road trips to Chicago and New England but it’s clear that the Saints are back to their pre-Bountygate form.