Last night did turn out to be a statement game.
The Saints showed a national audience that they are for real, whipping the Patriots 38-17 at the Superdome. The Patriots show that they’ve got a lot of work to do if they hope to be considered contenders at this point. Drew Brees shredded the New England defense effortlessly and at will, throwing for 371 yards, 5 touchdowns and a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
To me, last night’s game turned on Tom Brady’s first interception. The Patriots were leading 7-3, had just stopped the Saints, and gotten a great runback from Wes Welker on the punt. They were primed to make this a 14-3 game and take some of the air out of the Superdome. Instead Brady threw an interception which ignited both the crowd and the Saints, the score was quickly 10-7 and the Saints never looked back.
It’s another painful Gut Check for Patriots Daily.
Adam Kilgore says that as of this morning, there is no evidence that the Patriots are a Super Bowl contender. Ian R. Rapoport has the Patriots leaving New Orleans “humbled, intimidated and overwhelmed” by the Saints. Shalise Manza Young says that this one is squarely on the defense. Mike Reiss has the Patriots defense once again failing to deliver on the big stage. Tom E. Curran has the Patriots exposed for all to see. Brett Martel has the AP story.
Bob Ryan says that Bill Belichick wasn’t kidding all last week when he said that the Saints are good. Ron Borges gloats over the pathetic showing by the Patriots defense. Jim Donaldson enjoys that he predicted this loss last night. Albert R. Breer hopes you didn’t listen to the apologists for the Patriots defense who thought the unit might actually be capable of holding the Saints down. Bill Burt says that the Patriots should take a few lessons from the Saints and try to emulate them going forward. Tim Graham says that the Patriots do not belong with the elite teams this season.
Karen Guregian says that the upset of the night was the undermanned Saints secondary getting the better of Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and company. Monique Walker says that the Patriots offense didn’t have the rhythm or flow that it needed last night. Chris Forsberg has Tom Brady ending his night on the sidelines, watching Brian Hoyer take the final snaps. Jonathan Comey has the Patriots exposed as pretenders rather than contenders. Christopher Price tells us what else we learned last night.
Breer has friends remembering Marquise Hill and what this game would’ve meant to him. Christopher L. Gasper has the Superdome once again serving as a proving ground. Kirk Minihane says that we’re going to have to wait until the playoffs for answers about this Patriots team. Forsberg has Matt Light saying that his team got handled in every way possible last night. He also notes another fourth-down conundrum was on tap for the Patriots last night.
William Kalec has Drew Brees adding another chapter to his storybook season. Ted Lewis has more on the perfect game thrown by Brees. Donaldson says that both Brees and the Saints had the look of perfection last night. Walker has former Patriots David Thomas, Heath Evans and Randall Gay enjoying their time with the Saints. Donaldson says that in Maroney and Bush the Patriots and Saints each have cause for disappointment. Rob Bradford looks at a “Jerry Maguire” moment between agent Drew Rosenhaus and his client, cornerback Mike McKenzie last night after the game.
The Globe notebook has Brady passing Drew Bledsoe in the Patriots record books, and Bledsoe offering some thoughts on Brady. Rapoport’s notebook has the Patriots with no answers in the secondary last night. Young’s Talking points has the Saints dominating despite not having their starting corners active for the game.