After their 17-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on November 21st, the New Orleans Saints were sitting at 9-2 and almost a lock for the postseason. Quarterback Drew Brees had 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions at that point in the season and the Saints had scored at least 20 points in all but two of their games.
Since that win, the Saints were 1-3 and only scored above 16 points once in that span. Brees’ numbers were pedestrian during those four games with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. In their three losses, Brees had three touchdowns, four interceptions and had a quarterback rating over 81 only once.
On Sunday, the Saints were fighting for their playoff life at 10-5 and tied with the Arizona Cardinals. They needed to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or hope that Arizona would lose to San Francisco to get in. The Carolina Panthers had already clinched the NFC South, so the Saints were fighting for the six seed.
Back at home in the Super Dome, Brees came out firing and ended the suspense early. The Saints scored TDs on six of their first eight possessions and only punted once en route to a 42-17 victory. Brees finished the game with 381 yards on 24 for 31 passing, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. He had nearly a perfect QB rating at 157.4 and included a rushing touchdown. It was the seventh time this season that Brees threw multiple touchdown passes without throwing a pick and the Saints are 7-0 in those games.
Six of those seven games were indoors, where Brees and the Saints play much better and five of them were at home. As the sixth seed, they will not get a home game in the playoffs, but if they can get Dallas in Round 1, they have a chance to get some momentum going and a possible matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.