Drew Brees and Marques Colston got their records. The Saints got their first win. Now they’re on a break.
What happens next?
Was Sunday’s game an aberration, or a sign of better things to come? In defeating San Diego at home, the Saints won despite having a nonexistent ground game (again) and a leaky run defense (again). But the team also made big plays when it needed them.
In the fourth quarter, the Saints got a tip-drill interception from Roman Harper, which led to a field goal, and a crucial game-clinching strip and fumble recovery by Martez Wilson.
Then there was Brees, who fired four touchdown passes — including three to Colston, who became the Saints’ all-time leader in touchdown receptions with 52.
New Orleans, of course, is 1-4, with a bye this weekend. After that, the Saints have back-to-back road games at Tampa Bay and Denver.
They are still very much a work in progress. They rank 29th in the NFL in pass defense and 32nd in run defense. And on offense, their ground game is nearly invisible. The good news is, they’ve got an extra week to work on their problems.
After dropping their first four games, the Saints outlasted San Diego 31-24 on Sunday for their first win of the season. They are now tied with Carolina for last in the NFC South, four games behind first-place Atlanta.
The Saints have a bye this week. After that, they play at Tampa Bay on Oct. 21, then at Denver on Oct. 28.
What’s next: Colston, obviously, is off to a much better start this season than he had last year, when he missed time with a fractured collarbone. Expect him to keep producing, given the Saints’ strong passing game (and limited rushing game).
What’s next: Now he needs to produce. Smith and the defensive line must play better against the run. Smith and other ends must also put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, as they did Sunday against Philip Rivers.
.522 Winning percentage of the Saints’ next five opponents. The Buccaneers, Broncos, Eagles, Falcons and Raiders are a combined 12-11.
1,769e_SFlbNumber of passing yards Drew Brees threw for during the first five games of last season. He finished with 5,476 yards, an NFL single-season record.
1,720e_SFlbNumber of passing yards Brees threw for during the first five games this season.
Falcons: UP What they’ve done: At 5-0, Atlanta is the only NFC team with a perfect record. Three of the Falcons’ wins have come on the road, including last week at Washington.
Buccaneers: DOWN What they’ve done: Tampa Bay’s only win, in Week 1 against Carolina, doesn’t look as impressive as it once did. With a three-game losing streak, the Bucs are coming off a bye.
Panthers: DOWN What they’ve done: Carolina nearly won at Atlanta two weeks ago, but didn’t look good in a home loss to Seattle. The Panthers were supposed to be better than this.
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