• Drew Brees
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Saints 31, Falcons 27
  • 21-for-32, 298 YD, 3 TD, 1 INT
  • Watch Highlights
  • Andy Dalton
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Bengals 31, Giants 13
  • 21-for-30, 199 YD, 4 TD, 0 INT
  • Watch Highlights

The Pregame Pressure

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints faced an incredible amount of pressure heading into Sunday's contest against the Atlanta Falcons. They needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they were squaring off against the NFL's last remaining unbeaten team. Brees would need to put up a lot of points to keep pace with the Falcons' high-flying offense.

Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals faced a very tough task last Sunday afternoon. They desperately needed a win to stay in the AFC playoff hunt, and to get that win, they'd need to beat the reigning Super Bowl champs. The New York Giants entered this game with a 6-3 record and a potent pass rush that was set to pose a huge challenge for Dalton's offense.

The In-Game Performance

Brees delivered an excellent performance, completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns, and the Saints knocked off the previously unbeaten Falcons, 31-27. Brees' very first throw of the game was intercepted, but he didn't commit any turnovers after that. He helped the Saints overcome an early 10-0 deficit by leading the offense on four long touchdown drives. Brees did benefit from a solid ground attack, as the Saints piled up 148 rushing yards.

Dalton's outstanding performance helped lead the Bengals to a 31-13 victory over the Giants. He completed 70 percent of his passes for 199 yards and four touchdowns, didn't have any turnovers and wasn't sacked a single time. Dalton set the tone early in the game by leading the Bengals to touchdowns on each of their first two possessions. He was given favorable field position throughout the afternoon, and he made the Giants pay for it, clearly outplaying Eli Manning from start to finish.

The Post-Game Pick

Brees was fantastic in the Saints' big win, but I thought Dalton had an even better performance. His yardage total wasn't very impressive, but he was incredibly efficient, and tossed one more touchdown pass than the Saints quarterback. Dalton also avoided turning the ball over despite playing against an aggressive defense. His performance has put the Bengals right back into the playoff mix. -- Daniel Jeremiah