Despite a slow start in which his decision making, pocket presence and arm strength raised eyebrows, Drew Brees is once again leading the NFL in completion percentage. His offense, already second in total yards entering the night, got another 100-yard performance from Mark Ingram and has a healthy Jimmy Graham back on track as a difference-making mismatch.
Leaning on Ingram in an inside/outside zone attack is setting up play-action opportunities, having the twin effect of boosting Brees' efficiency and keeping a undependable defense off the field.
Armed with a new identity and an 11-game home winning streak, the Saints return to the Superdome for three consecutive games against the 49ers, Bengals and Ravens before heading to Pittsburgh in Week 13. They close out the season with one of the NFL's most agreeable December slates, hosting the Panthers and Falcons and traveling to Chicago and Tampa.
In a conference with no dominant teams entering the second half of the season, the Saints suddenly have the look of an outfit capable of doing some damage in January.