Sunday Night wrap-up: Drew Brees does Drew Brees thing

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It was, after all, Sunday night. We should have seen this coming.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees led his guys to a 44-23 win over the Packers, continuing one of the most impressive runs in the NFL.

He’s now won his last 14 prime-time home games, comfortable in the Superdome like few others have been.

His second half was nearly flawless, throwing three touchdowns and quickly breaking a deadlocked game wide open.

He finished the game 27-of-32 for 311 yards, averaging nearly 10 yards per attempt.

He also did it in typical Brees fashion, spreading it among nine different targets, and hitting shot plays down the field.

If their defense hadn’t betrayed them so badly during their 2-4 start, they’d be the kind of team you’d think might be dangerous in the postseason. But they might have squandered any chance at more than a single home game for winning the division.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1.Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t himself in the second half, particularly after coming up holding his left hamstring after a scramble for a first down.

His two interceptions (one tipped and not his fault, the second moreso) were double his previous season total.

Rodgers is dangerous on the move, but a hamstring problem wouldn’t just bother him running. Anything that throws him out of balance or makes him uncomfortable would change his passing mechanics, and prevent him from driving through the ball.

That’s why the upcoming bye week will be crucial for the Packers, as Rodgers looked like a man who needed to r-e-l-a-x and get some treatment.

2. Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is back, as something other than a decoy.

Graham had five catches for 59 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown in the third quarter which gave the Saints a two-touchdown lead.

He was barely noticed last week in his return from a shoulder injury. He was targeted twice, but didn’t catch a pass, and only played 30 of 75 snaps.

But if he’s well enough to contribute again, it will make a huge difference for an offense that hadn’t been good enough in the first half of the season to overcome other problems.

Graham’s a part of their play-calling which can’t be replaced, because of his ability to create physical mismatches all over the field. With the emergence of rookie wideout Brandin Cooks, sets them up for the future beyond this week. Having Mark Ingram running the way he did Sunday (172 rushing yards and a touchdown) was almost a luxury, as the passing offense was so efficient.

3. Speaking of the future, the 3-4 Saints might be the most solid-looking playoff pick in the league right now.

Somebody has to win the NFC South, and they appear to have fewer problems at the moment than the 3-4-1 Panthers, who are 1-4-1 in the last six with the lone win against dysfunctional Chicago.

The short week and Thursday night trip to Charlotte will test the Saints, but their offense seems like the only side of the ball in their division which has approached consistent.

4. In other Packers injury news, right guard T.J. Lang left the game after the first possession with an ankle injury, and didn’t return.

Right guard problems aren’t always noticed (unless you’re not wearing any, hey-yo), but the Packers certainly missed him on a key fourth-down in the second half.

His replacement, Lane Taylor, was shoved back into the backfield on Eddie Lacy’s fourth-down attempt in the third quarter.

For an offensive line dealing with a number of injuries this year, missing the steady Lang would be an issue if he’s out beyond the bye.

5. There might not have been a more disappointed man in America than referee Ed Hochuli.

During the first half, his microphone wasn’t working, depriving him of the ability to be heard by a national television audience.

He hasn’t been this upset since the long-sleeves-mandatory dress code at the last Officials’ Ball.

68 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Drew Brees does Drew Brees thing

  1. Wow and I thought Aaron Rodgers said R-E-L-A-X. Packers how could you let Lions take the lead in division…oh that’s right they whooped your sorry behinds. SKOL!

  2. Packers defense will get smoked in the playoffs if they even make it.

    Saints defense will get smoked in the playoffs if they even make it.

  3. Losing by a TD is nothing to hang your head about, Pack. Take away two of the TDs that the refs spotted them, and it’s a much closer game. Still a loss, but the saints are tough at home.

    >

  4. And…………..yet ANOTHER Aaron Rodgers failback!

    Aaron Rodgers has NEVER won a game in which he was down by 9 or more points in the 2nd half. NOT ONCE in over 20 tries.

    Aaron Rodgers has NEVER led a 4th Quarter comeback of any number of points against a team that ends the season with a winning record. NOT ONCE in over 20 tries. (assuming N.O. ends with at least 9 wins; pretty safe assumption).

    Oh, the Packer fans will say Rodgers had a boo-boo, but, what about the OTHER 40+ games?

  5. First decent team the packers played in weeks and….loss. Once Erin broke a nail it was all over.

  6. As I’ve said time and time again. The Saints DO NOT LOSE in the Dome and DO NOT LOST in primetime games at home. Nobody listened….

    WOO-HOO Saints win! Saints showed tonight the team we knew them as. We’re back, watch out, making a run for the rest of the season!!

    GEAUX SAINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Temporary setback, not a big deal.

    Of course the Packers can’t win every single game, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be fighting for the division crown by the end of the season. And be Super Bowl contenders, naturally.

  8. Losing by a TD is nothing to hang your head about, Pack. Take away two of the TDs that the refs spotted them, and it’s a much closer game. Still a loss, but the saints are tough at home.

    —————————————————–
    Losing by a touchdown? Typical Packs fan, can’t count. It was 44-23 at the end–that’s THREE touchdowns.

    Refs spotted us touchdowns? Cheesehead fans are REALLY sore losers…

  9. Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints and their fans for a well deserved victory! Your team is clearly in the mix.

    And I continue to be inspired by Packer fans, who win with grace, and on those rare occasions when the team comes up short – lose with grace too.

    It’s an honor and a privilege to be fan of the 13 Time World Champion Green Bay Packers.

  10. Now that the Packers have played a team that won’t have a losing record at the end of the season have shown what many of us knew all along…..The GB Oline is really almost as bad as the Vikings, the GB secondary can’t function as a unit and GB as a team can’t win against a good team!

    Better hope “Tiny Arms” Rodgers can R-E-L-A-X for the next 10+ days or that hammy is going to give him problems for the rest of the season!! If Rodgers goes down, last season has shown that he takes the rest of the team with him!

    How can a QB throw for over 400 yards and LOSE THE GAME??? I guess it is easy if you are the GB Packers!

  11. True Patsfan1820 but I have to say it sure looks and sounds good! 🙂 And the whining about the Officials please….that is the cry of a loser.

  12. Congrats to the Saints and their fans on a great win.
    The Superdome is always a tough place to play and that definitely proved true again tonight.

    With the Lion’s win this morning, it puts Aaron and Co. a little behind the eight ball.
    Kudos to Detroit for playing so well throughout their injuries.

    A much needed bye week and an important divisional matchup against the Bears in two weeks.

    5-3 through the first half of the season aint bad, but it feels like a bit of a let down.
    Hopefully this team can continue to grow and mature.

  13. How sad must things be in Minnesota when their loser fans are commenting on a game they didn’t play in.
    I hope that overtime win against the Tampa Bay Suckaneers didn’t give you morons false hope.

  14. mrlaloosh says:
    Oct 26, 2014 11:47 PM
    How sad must things be in Minnesota when their loser fans are commenting on a game they didn’t play in.

    Replace ‘Minnesota’ with ‘Green Bay’ then take a look at Vikings threads. Basically, it’s what you are doing right now.

  15. sonofad says: Oct 26, 2014 11:44 PM

    Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints and their fans for a well deserved victory! Your team is clearly in the mix.

    And I continue to be inspired by Packer fans, who win with grace, and on those rare occasions when the team comes up short – lose with grace too.

    It’s an honor and a privilege to be fan of the 13 Time World Champion Green Bay Packers.
    =========================

    Grace? Do they not teach basic reading comprehension in whatever it is that passes for schools in that state?

  16. Hey Cris Collins, Mr Obvious, said that maybe Rogers injury is slowing the packers down. Ah, Cris, don’t you think the packers D, that had given up 37 easy points at that time and the pack being down three scores may have been an issue too?

    The GB packers showed to me the team I thought they always were: a team with a fine offense but a pourous defense made up of mostly late round draft picks no one else wanted and three first rounders who unlike, Ansah, Suh and Fairly, can’t cut it in the NFL: Datone Jones, Nick Perry and A J Hawk.

  17. I expect the Pack to get their heads handed to them by the Vikes at home, the Lions in GB and the Bears. That’s three more loses making them 5-6. The Pack would have to muster three wins to get to 8-8 and miss the playoffs. I see and early golf outing in CA for Mr Rogers this year.

  18. Vikings fans are really pathetic, you are like that Bears player who celebrates when getting their behinds spanked. Deal with your own issues cellar dwellers. Struggling to beat a useless Bucs team… come on.

  19. Knew Saints would win. We were noy favored by the pundits on NFLN. We were at hone,and had something to prove. Talk of Drew Brees’s demise was greatly exxagerated!

  20. For God’s sake don’t stoop to the level of Viking fans. No blaming the refs. The Packers were simply outplayed tonight. We can be man enough to admit it. The Saints had their number and fortune was not on the side of the Packers.

    Now go get healthy and come back strong after the bye week – five of the last eight games are at home and one of the road games is in Minnesota. No reason the Pack shouldn’t finish at least 12-4 and win the division.

  21. The Saints didn’t beat the Packers, the refs did. True, it was by 21 points, but there were 3 series of MULTIPLE bad calls against the Packers that gave New Orleans undeserved momentum.

    One that I’d like to point out was on the Packers’ last drive in the 1st half. On a pass to the end zone, Jordy Nelson was shoved to the ground. No call. On the next play, Davante Adams barely touched the defender and it was called OPI. By this point, the crowd was rocking, and it caused a delay of game, which wouldn’t have happened without the crowd noise, which wouldn’t have happened without the inconsistent officiating.

    Also, there was deep ball on a Saints’ drive in the 3rd quarter where Davon House was called for DPI even though he didn’t even touch a receiver.

    The Saints and their fans should be ashamed of themselves.

  22. The interceptions weren’t Rodgers’ fault. One was off the receiver’s hands. The other one was because the receiver ran the wrong route.

    I know, I know. Thumbs down.

  23. Does anyone else want to know why McCarthy had J. Peppers playing receiver on that 2nd down play? Was that the best trick in his arsenal? Or why did he onside right after that series? I think A. Rodgers is so good that he wins despite his mental midget of a head coach.

  24. Funny, reading the comments from Packer fans on an earlier story would suggest that losing by three touchdowns to a 2-4 team was better than beating a 1-5 team. Also, throwing two interceptions must be better than throwing no interceptions. Apparently, having a defense is frowned upon as well.

  25. “And…………..yet ANOTHER Aaron Rodgers failback!”
    ————————————————-

    So you think it was Aaron Rodgers’ fault for losing this game?

    How amusing. If you had actually watched the game, he played great.

    Just like all the other games when he leads a late game comeback only to have it ruined by a missed field goal, fumble, or by the defense immediately giving up the lead again.

    If you’d like to see an example of how Rodgers plays with a game on the line, look no further than last week at Miami.

  26. Saints figured out what they need to do this game. Give Ingram the ball 20+ times and ride him to many more victories.

  27. This is hilarious! Its hard being at the top (being a Packers fan! The haters come out from underneath the bridge but don’t worry the sun will come back out after the bye week and you’ll crawl/scamper back to your dirty purple corners of the NFL sewer!!

  28. Packers still have the most NFL championship wins out of all other teams and they never had to resort to any scandals to win any of them.
    The Taints have an * next to their one and lowly SB “win.” Only way they can win the big one is by cheating. Packers are still a better team.

  29. Enjoy your reg. season and maybe a playoff or two victories Taints fans because that is all your going to get.
    Your Taints cannot get to the SB without resorting to a scandal. Your Taints cannot win fair and square.

  30. Extremely difficult to beat the Saints at home. Especially when your receiving corps lets you down, the officiating is extremely one sided, and the league office inexplicably changes outcomes. Rough.

  31. Ya that spot of the ball was just a home town call. I was actually pulling my hair out when Payton threw the red flag cause he is historically bad at challenges.

  32. Well it’s nice to see another team other than the Vikes get screwed by calls in the SuperDome.
    Mr. Rogers how’s that hammy this morning, a little tight ?
    Go ahead and try to stretch it out, it won’t help.
    Should start feeling normal again say about March, good luck with that…

  33. As a Packers fan I say have your fun piling on and pointing out why we lost last night and you are all right. The Saints played a good game and they deserved this one.
    Packers defense once again pees down its leg in prime time. SOFT defense and in 25% of the Packers games this year the opponent hasn’t had to punt even once. You don’t win in this league like that.
    People point out that it is Rodgers fault in losses like this but if you watch Packers games closely usually it is the defense that lets this team down over and over again.
    Finally, how in the world do you throw a pass to Julius Peppers in a close game on the road? WOW

  34. FIGURED THE PACKER EXCUSES WOULD COME FLOODING IN. when packers win, the officiating is great, when they lose, packers fans blame the officials..yet they blame every fan base for the same thing…..figures

  35. Wheres all the Saints Haters now? Under those rocks they were putting us under I guess. Look out boys but were one game out of first of the division lead and the Panthers D is ripe for the taking. Bet Brees lights up Roman Harper every 3rd down like every other team did to us for years.

  36. Rodgers looked very mortal in this game. Tweaking a hamstring is part of the game, and having picks from tipped balls is what qbs all around this league get frustrated by every Sunday. Maybe Rodgers’ charmed 1st half of the season is over.

  37. Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league. If he is even half hurt, the Packers have nothing to fall back on. They have a terrible defense. Simple as that.

  38. A win is a win it doesn’t matter how it comes, the Saints beat Green Bay Packers with know problems. New Orleans Saints always has been a dangerous team the way they played against the Packers, if they continue playing this way in the rest of their games. They can go 12-4 they have the talent to do it, believe that I know Aaron Rodgers was taken by surprise. Say what you want the Saints will beat you and run up the scores on you, I believe they are a contender team that has Super Bowl talent.

  39. I said it on another site that this was going to be a trap game for the Packers, that they wouldn’t take the Saints seriously.

    And I was right…

    Great game boys – now, let’s take it to Charlotte on TNF, we got this!!

    GEAUX SAINTS!!!!!!!

  40. usdcoyotesfan says: Oct 27, 2014 12:22 AM

    The Saints didn’t beat the Packers, the refs did. True, it was by 21 points, but there were 3 series of MULTIPLE bad calls against the Packers that gave New Orleans undeserved momentum.

    One that I’d like to point out was on the Packers’ last drive in the 1st half. On a pass to the end zone, Jordy Nelson was shoved to the ground. No call. On the next play, Davante Adams barely touched the defender and it was called OPI. By this point, the crowd was rocking, and it caused a delay of game, which wouldn’t have happened without the crowd noise, which wouldn’t have happened without the inconsistent officiating.

    Also, there was deep ball on a Saints’ drive in the 3rd quarter where Davon House was called for DPI even though he didn’t even touch a receiver.

    The Saints and their fans should be ashamed of themselves.

    ————————————————-
    OK. First of all, no fan of ANY TEAM in the league can ever argue that the league/officials are FOR the Saints. Remember when they suspended our entire team for a year because of rumors? Yeah, clearly they LOVE us.

    Second, the deep ball DPI was textbook DPI. And he DID indeed touch the receiver. Though he didn’t throw him to the ground, he blocked the receiver’s path to the ball, which by RULE, is DEFENSIVE PASS INTERFERENCE. Learn the rules, THEN complain.

    Third, be a true fan. Blame your team/coaches and their performance.

  41. Every week, fans get on PFT and talk about how their team was screwed by the refs. And the ironic team is that somehow, every single team gets screwed every single week.

    Officiating is part of the game. The good teams win in spite of officiating.

  42. Definition of a trap game, if Green Bay wins, big deal and if they lost (as they did), they lost to a 2 win team. But of course Vikes fans are on here projecting the Packers to lose the rest of their games this year.

  43. what play is everyone referring to about the spot of the ball? Because if its the one where the packers receiver caught the ball on the first down side of the stick and ran backward, untouched before tripping over his own self and hitting the ground. That call was spot on. I was pissed when it was challenged b/c I thought the d-bags in New York were gonna gift that play to the pack….Forward Progress only stops after contact. That was a legit call.

  44. It just so happens that i like both the Saints and the Packers, but i didn’t get to watch last night’s game. Maybe it was best that way after hearing about the outcome! I predicted that the Packers would win this one considering how well they managed to turn things around after that horrible opening against the Seahawks. Although the Saints managed to win decisively last night, NFL fans that watch the league closely have to know that this victory is no reason whatsoever to get excited and deluded into thinking that the Saints will be playing that way for the rest of the season because we know that is not going to happen. To put it bluntly: The Saints SUCK on the road, and in this league you have to be able to win on the road to have serious plans about going deep in the playoffs and getting to the Super Bowl. I’m not trying to take anything away from the Saints on last night’s victory, which they needed but in my opinion they have a long way to go in order to be taken “Very Seriously” as far a deep playoff run is concerned!

  45. Note on the Saints:

    Aside from the Dallas game, all of our losses this season were by a Field Goal or less in the last 2 minutes. Also if I’m not mistaken, two of them were walk-off field goals. Still 9 games left. Anything can happen.

  46. So let me see if I have this straight…….

    Vikings – proven to be screwed by the refs in the NFC Championship game in New Orleans and when the fans say anything about it, GB says we are whining.

    GB – claim to be screwed by the refs in a regular season game in New Orleans, Rodgers had a QB rating in the second half of a little over 44 and they have a legitimate gripe……

    Yeah……..right!

  47. areyouseriousrofl says:
    Oct 27, 2014 10:18 AM

    usdcoyotesfan says: Oct 27, 2014 12:22 AM

    The Saints didn’t beat the Packers, the refs did. True, it was by 21 points, but there were 3 series of MULTIPLE bad calls against the Packers that gave New Orleans undeserved momentum.

    One that I’d like to point out was on the Packers’ last drive in the 1st half. On a pass to the end zone, Jordy Nelson was shoved to the ground. No call. On the next play, Davante Adams barely touched the defender and it was called OPI. By this point, the crowd was rocking, and it caused a delay of game, which wouldn’t have happened without the crowd noise, which wouldn’t have happened without the inconsistent officiating.

    Also, there was deep ball on a Saints’ drive in the 3rd quarter where Davon House was called for DPI even though he didn’t even touch a receiver.

    The Saints and their fans should be ashamed of themselves.

    ————————————————-
    OK. First of all, no fan of ANY TEAM in the league can ever argue that the league/officials are FOR the Saints. Remember when they suspended our entire team for a year because of rumors? Yeah, clearly they LOVE us.

    Second, the deep ball DPI was textbook DPI. And he DID indeed touch the receiver. Though he didn’t throw him to the ground, he blocked the receiver’s path to the ball, which by RULE, is DEFENSIVE PASS INTERFERENCE. Learn the rules, THEN complain.

    Third, be a true fan. Blame your team/coaches and their performance.
    ———————————————————-
    According to the NFL rulebook, the defender can cut off the receiver’s path as long as he doesn’t touch him. The GB defender did just that. It was a clean play and shouldn’t have been flagged. I think you’re the one who needs to learn the rules.

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