Just one week removed from a sloppy, one-dimensional game against the New York Jets, New Orleans rebounded nicely and will certainly move up in the power rankings thanks to their complete dominance over Dallas. I do not want to say that this was a must-win game for the Saints, but it definitely was a statement game after a tough loss in Week 9.
New Orleans had 625 yards of total offense and punted less times than I have fingers on my hand. They also set a new NFL record for first downs in a game with 40. Compare that to what the Cowboys, who only managed to gain nine first downs and went 0-9 on third-down conversions.
One can only guess what head coach Sean Payton said or did to get his players to perform the way they did tonight, but I would guess he mentioned the sloppy play from a week ago as motivation. Kudos also go out to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and the stellar performance of his defense. Just a couple of weeks ago, Tony Romo and the Cowboys went scored 40-plus points.
Not tonight, however. Jerry Jones will almost certainly be thinking that firing Ryan after the end of last season was a mistake now. The Monte Kiffin-led defense will definitely be downgraded as the new stats and information are compiled heading into Week 11.
New Orleans will host the San Francisco 49ers at home next Sunday, and after they failed to score a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers at home in Candlestick Park, I suddenly like the Saints’ outlook more and more.