Last night the Saints clobbered NFC East foe the Dallas Cowboys 49-17, a game in which the Saints flexed their muscles and delivered an emphatic statement to a nationally televised primetime audience. Leading in to the game, skeptics had grown increasingly vocal in announcing their doubts concerning the long-term viability of New Orleans as a Super Bowl contender this year. Such uncertainty both locally and nationally surrounding the black and gold generally could be attributed to the Saints’ prior outing in New York, a 26-20 defeat suffered at the hands of the Jets in which the team exhibited a severe deficiency in pass protection of elite franchise QB Drew Brees. In that defeat New Orleans very evidently struggled mightily on offense; Brees received numerous hits courtesy of the team’s inability to keep the Jets’ pass rush out of the offensive backfield. But in the aftermath of the Saints’ resounding and decisive triumph over the Cowboys, some are reconsidering the viability of the Saints.
New Orleans QB Drew Brees again reminded fans and outside observers that he and his Saints remain a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the season. He delivered a vintage Brees’ individual performance, throttling the Cowboys with the precision and timing of his passes. Countless times throughout the night he frustrated the Dallas defense with his tremendous anticipation, his ability to foresee the positioning of opposing defenders and to properly locate the football with pinpoint accuracy. But it wasn’t just Brees and the offense which left lasting impressions regarding the Saints. New Orleans also exhibited its greatly revamped defense under the guide of first-year coordinator Rob Ryan. The unit relentlessly pursued Dallas QB Tony Romo and harassed him throughout the night, battering him and dramatically impacting his comfort level in the pocket.
The Saints’ resounding triumph over the Cowboys undoubtedly raised some eyebrows across the nation and served to place the rest of the league on notice. Underestimate the Saints at your own peril. They possess the capability to pressure opponents on both sides of the ball, truly a sign of a complete team.
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