The Saints welcomed the new-look Detroit Lions to the Superdome, and quarterback Drew Brees(notes) picked up where he left off in 2008 when he almost broke Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage record. In this game, Brees threw for touchdowns on four of New Orleans' first six drives and had 210 passing yards in the first half alone (he finished with 358 yards on 26 completions and 34 attempts). Because the Lions were able to stay in the game despite Matt Stafford's three picks, Brees had to keep throwing through the third quarter. Brees had a 58-yard TD to Devery Henderson(notes) in the third quarter, and a 13-yarder to Heath Evans(notes) with 8:29 left in the game.
Then, when the Saints got the ball back with 4:48 remaining after Stafford threw a ball right to Darren Sharper(notes), Saints head coach Sean Payton pulled out his 1925 Dayton Triangles playbook and ran the ball on every play. The Saints moved from the Detroit 44 to the Detroit 14 in nine running plays and saved the Lions the embarrassment of being on the wrong end of another NFL record after their historic 0-16 finish last year. Hopefully, the same analysts who crucified Bill Belichick for running up the score in 2007 when the Patriots could not be stopped in the regular season will give Payton his due for dialing it down at the appropriate time.
Or, maybe I'm off base here. What do you think? Should Brees have been allowed to try and tie the record, sportsmanship be damned?
Photo: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE
- George Blanda
- Houston Oilers
- Sid Luckman