Drew Brees led the Saints to a punishing defeat over a comparatively struggling Tom Brady and the Patriots in what was the most anticipated matchup in recent weeks.
Saints 38, Patriots 17
Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Nov. 30, 2009
Headliner: Drew Brees was unstoppable as he continued his torrid pace en route to New Orleans? 11th straight win. Brees connected on 18 of 23 pass attempts for 371 yards and five touchdowns to finish with a 158.3 quarterback rating.
Brees also became the first quarterback to throw for three touchdowns in the second quarter against any Bill Belichick-coached team.
Game Ball: Wideouts Marques Colston and Devery Henderson were Brees' favorite targets, as each reached triple digits in receiving yards and added touchdowns. Colston's 121 yards led all receivers while Henderson had the highlight score of the day, when he and Brees connected on a 75-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter.
Laurence Maroney paced the Patriots offense with consistency on the ground and finished with 64 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Even though Maroney fumbled for the third straight game, he hustled back to strip Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis to immediately give the Pats the ball back. Wide receiver Sam Aiken led the Patriots with seven catches for 90 yards.
Better Luck Next Week: Tom Brady went just 21-for-36 for 237 yards and failed to find the end zone for just the second time this season and the first time since the Pats' Week 2 loss to the Jets. Brady was also picked off twice by the Saints secondary, including a fourth-quarter interception by veteran Darren Sharper. Brady finished with a 55.0 quarterback rating.
The Pats offense was just 4-for-13 on third down conversions and was held to 366 net yards on 70 total plays in over 33 minutes of possession.
Key Moment: After Maroney rushed into the end zone early in the third to bring the Pats within a touchdown, Brees marched down the field in just 1 minute and 22 seconds before finding Darnell Dinkins from two yards out to put the Saints up 31-17.
Then, with over four minutes to go in the third, New England went for it on fourth-and-four from the Saints 10-yard line and turned it over on downs.
Scouting Report: The Patriots return to divisional play next Sunday, when they travel down to Miami to take on the 5-6 Dolphins.
In Week 9, the Fins fell to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium by a score of 27-17. Wide receiver Randy Moss was downright ridiculous that game, grabbing six receptions for 147 yards and a touchdown, while Maroney paced the ground game with 82 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Since that loss, Miami has gone 2-1, including a 31-14 loss on Sunday to the Bills in Buffalo.