In sports, especially in the NFL, rarely does one win cure what ails you.
But you would have had a difficult time telling that late Sunday night to the New Orleans Saints, who didn’t care — nor should they have at that point — that they’re still in the very deep hole they dug for themselves in the first four weeks of the season.
Who could blame them?
Whether it turns out to be merely a placebo, or not, mattered little to the Saints after they rallied late for a stirring 31-24 win over the San Diego Chargers in a noisy Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
At least it was something, something to feel good about and give them a good vibe as they prepared for their bye week — which includes six days away from the daily grind.
And make no mistake, the past four weeks were a grind for the Saints.
How they managed to at least put an end to the bleeding that came from four consecutive losses to open the season will bear watching when they return next week to prepare for their final 11 games — starting with an Oct. 21 meeting against the Tampa Bay Bucs.
If the Saints come back and play better than they have in the early part of the season and win several more games, they’ll have Drew Brees to thank for it.
On a festive night in which Brees set an NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass, breaking the mark of 47 games he shared with the incomparable Johnny Unitas, Brees did what he usually does.
He led his team to a win, bringing it back from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter to improve his record to 63-37 in 100 starts since joining the Saints in 2006.
This one was a little different, however.
While he usually does it with his arm, which he did with four touchdown passes in all Sunday night, he also did it with his chin.
Standing his ground in the pocket late in the third quarter, Brees took a direct hit under his facemask from blitzing Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram.
The collision drew a 15-yard roughing the passer call against Ingram, erasing an interception and touchdown return by linebacker Demorrio Williams that would have given the Chargers a commanding and possibly insurmountable 31-14 lead.
Brees shook off the hit and five plays later had the Saints in the end zone.
He followed the 87-yard drive with an impressive 90-yard march, and the two touchdowns in a little more than six minutes of clock time gave the Saints a 28-24 lead, perhaps inspiring the defense to come up with two takeaways in the final six minutes to help secure the victory.
It may not be the cure-all for their troubles of the first four weeks, but it’ll help for now.
“We understand that we have a little bit of a mountain to climb here,” a smiling Brees said. “One step at a time … one rock at a time.
“We’ve got the right people in the locker room, and that makes you feel like you always have a chance.”
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