Brees Plays Through Pain To Lead Saints Past Jags
Drew Brees wasn't expected to play Sunday against Jacksonville, but he beat the Jags, 38-27, with an injured foot.
Plantar fasciitis feels like daggers under your foot, but Drew Brees dropped back and soldiered through the pain to put on a gutsy performance. He matched the Jags total offensive production (412 yards) through the air (25/36, 412 yards, 3 TD's), playing not even close to 100% healthy. At the age of 36, Brees continues to defy the laws of sports science.
It wasn't a perfect performance though. Brandon Browner allowed the longest TD in Jags' franchise history (90 yards) to Allen Robinson and the defense let Jacksonville hang around, but aside from that, there wasn't much for Who Dat Nation to gripe about.
The game was pretty much over at halftime. Brandin Cooks produced more offense (117 total yards, 1 TD) than the entire Jacksonville squad (105 yards, 0 TD) at the break, while the defense kept them pinned to the mat for a 24-6 advantage.
Brees and company pretty much just had to hang on after flogging the Jags defense all day long. Tim Hightower (27 carries, 122 yards, 2 TD's) collected his first 100 yard rushing performance since 2010, the receivers hauled in contested catches and Brees beat defenders with darts time and time again. It wasn't just the offense that got the job done. Defense did its part as well.
Delvin Breaux put on a clinic at the cornerback position, breaking up passes all over the field and coming away with an interception. The unexpected event of the day came when rookie DL Bobby Richardson collected his first career INT off a deflection. It was a surprise party in New Orleans. With 537 yards of offense and their sixth win of the season, it was time for slight celebration.
Even though the Saints are eliminated from the playoff picture, a win like this is encouraging for Who Dat Nation.
With Stephone Anthony breaking the Saints' franchise record for tackles by a rookie this season, Drew Brees laughing in the face of father time, Brandin Cooks and Mark Ingram developing...can you see the light on the end of the horizon?