Around the NFL  

 

Drew Brees leads Saints to wild win over Giants

Print

In what was without a doubt the wildest game so far this season, the New Orleans kept their playoff hopes alive and resurrected a 36-year-old Drew Brees in an epic 52-49 win over the Giants.

Here's what we learned...

1. We'll get this out of the way first: For more on the epic quarterbacking duel, click here. This was too fantastic of a performance, especially by Brees, to be contained in What We Learned. Moving on, this does absolutely nothing to clear up the train wreck that is the NFC East. The Giants had a chance to gain some breathing room in a game they theoretically should have won. Instead, they drop into the sand pit alongside Philadelphia, Dallas and Washington. Though the division is as bad as it is hyper-competitive, we're in for a treat if Dallas turns things around this year.

2. Odell Beckham, Jr. turned in another star-worthy performance. It's getting to the point where, even with a stable of backs like Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen and Andre Williams, the highest percentage play is a 2-yard combo route to Beckham, which the Giants ran on two of his three touchdowns Sunday. But more than that, he's a dangerous chess piece; a player who coordinator Ben McAdoo has grown with and a receiver who is forcing some pretty epic double teams.

3. Though many will call for the heads of defensive coordinators Rob Ryan and Steve Spagnuolo, there are times when play transcends coaching. There were two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks playing Sunday, and each were in a zone that we haven't seen since some of the early Tom Brady-Peyton Manning or Peyton Manning-Aaron Rodgers duels. Seeing Rob Ryan pump his fist after a crucial defensive stop was almost comical but completely understood. There are days when scheme is almost completely useless.

4. What could the NFC South look like in three weeks? The Saints are 4-4, but their remaining schedule is as follows: Titans, Redskins, Texans, Panthers, Bucs, Lions, Jaguars, Falcons. There are two of those games the Saints will be projected to lose, but they always give Atlanta hell and if the season is on the line, imagine those two teams going at it with a playoff berth on the line.

5. In order for that to happen, New Orleans obviously needs to clean up its defense. They had some holes at linebacker Sunday afternoon, but seeing a premier corner like Brandon Browner continue to rack up penalties is troubling. Yes, sometimes great quarterback play transcends scheme, but these are technical errors that result in chunk yardage. He's now cemented his reputation and is making life difficult for Ryan as he tries to re-work his defense. Delvin Breaux -- a very promising young player -- was also beat this afternoon. Later, Kyle Wilson was back playing safety when Jairus Byrd exited the game. This is the type of scattershot defense that could cost New Orleans as it tries to make a playoff push.

Print

Fan Discussion