Monday, November 22, 2010

Week Eleven Review: Brees Shreds Seahawks, Team Records

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees further increased his place in the franchise’s history while keeping his team in the hunt for an opportunity to play in the post-season on Sunday afternoon, as the Black and Gold handily beat the NFC West’s top team.

Of course that’s a relative assessment as none of the teams in that division have a winning record.

Brees threw for 382 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. His 29 completions advanced him past Archie Manning for the team record in that category. Manning’s benchmark was 1,849. The newly established record by Brees now stands at 1,862.

Brees overtook Aaron Brooks for the team record in career touchdown passes last season, which number 9 currently holds at 144.

Brees now trails Manning for the franchise’s passing yards record by 467, a milestone the Super Bowl MVP should achieve within the next three games at the latest, barring injury.

Though the Saints quarterback had an outstanding game, other players contributed in the rout.

Running back Chris Ivory, who has almost single-handedly carried the slack left by the team’s injured starting ground corps, rushed for 99 yards and scored his first career touchdown. The undrafted Ivory has the distinction of having helped the Saints the most out of all of the rookies on the roster.

Wide receiver Marques Colston also had a great game, with eight receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

And though the defense didn’t make any sacks and gave up a few deep passes by Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, they did pick up two Seahawk fumbles and limited their opponents to a single touchdown.

But the game had its ugly parts for both teams.

Saints kicker Garrett Hartley missed his lone field goal opportunity, a pedestrian 27 yard attempt. Ex-Saint kicker Orlindo Mare had success in the Superdome he didn’t enjoy when he wore a Black and Gold uniform, converting all four of his field goal attempts.

That the Saints are still chasing the Atlanta Falcons from behind is largely due to Hartley’s failure to make an overtime kick against the Dirty Birds. One must imagine that Saints head coach Sean Payton’s patience are already thin and that future misses by Hartley will result in something more sincere than a “time-out” session.

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch didn’t help his team’s cause, fumbling the ball twice and dropping screen passes that would have resulted in positive yardage as the Saints defense didn’t have him adequately covered.

One local sports personality, whose name I won’t mention in this forum, mused on his Facebook status that Lynch must have bet on the game to perform so poorly.

Overall it was a very good game, giving Payton his second post-bye win of his career (last season was his first) while some members of the team continue to recuperate from injury.

A win over not only a conference opponent (which is a key component in tie-breakers for the playoffs) but a team that has as good of a chance as any of winning the NFC West will benefit the Black and Gold immensely if they can pole vault past the Falcons.

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