Patriots 17

(7-4, 1-4 away)

Saints 38

(11-0, 6-0 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

8:30 PM ET, November 30, 2009

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA 

1 2 3 4 T
NE 7 3 7 017
NO 3 21 7 738

Top Performers

Passing: D. Brees (NO) - 371 YDS, 5 TD

Rushing: L. Maroney (NE) - 15 CAR, 64 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: M. Colston (NO) - 4 REC, 121 YDS, 1 TD

Brees throws for 371 yards, five TDs as Saints rout Patriots to stay perfect

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- With one pinpoint throw after another, Drew Brees put New Orleans' pursuit of perfection into overdrive and left Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the dust.

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A franchise that's never been to a Super Bowl and a quarterback who has been accused of not winning big games went out and destroyed the closest thing we've seen to an NFL dynasty in recent times, writes Pat Yasinskas. Blog

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Brees threw for a season-high 371 yards and five touchdowns, carving up coach Bill Belichick's defense like few quarterbacks ever have in the Saints' 38-17 victory Monday night.

"It only counts for one win on the stat sheet, but emotionally, those types of wins can mean a little more," Brees said. "Anytime you can win, and win that way, it builds confidence for you."

By harassing Brady all game and routing one of the NFL's top powers, the Saints joined the Indianapolis Colts at 11-0 -- the first time two NFL teams have opened with that many consecutive wins in the same season.

The convincing victory left little doubt about New Orleans' credentials as the Saints try to match the Patriots' 16-0 regular-season mark in 2007. New England remains the only team to go undefeated in a 16-game regular season -- for now.

Battle Of Perfection

New Orleans' and Indianapolis' perfect starts to the season marked the first time in NFL history that more than one team started 11-0.

Colts Saints
W-L 11-0 11-0
PPG 27.6 37.0
Opp. PPG 16.7 20.1
Opp. win pct.* .491 .400

* - Remaining opponents

Brees threw touchdown passes to five different players: Pierre Thomas, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Darnell Dinkins and Marques Colston. In doing so, the Pro Bowl quarterback kept New Orleans on pace to narrowly eclipse New England's single-season scoring record of 589 points set in 2007.

"He was special," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "Let's just say he's playing really well."

The Saints averaged 9.6 yards per play, a club record that Brees called "ridiculous."

Brees went 18 of 23 and finished with a perfect passer rating of 158.3. His average of 16.1 yards per passing attempt also was a team record.

"We were able to accomplish something offensively tonight that was pretty special," Brees said.

Fast Facts

• The Saints became the 14th team in league history to start 11-0 as Drew Brees threw for 371 yards and five TDs, the most TD passes ever against a team coached by Bill Belichick.

• Devery Henderson had his seventh career 100-yard receiving game. His 75-yard TD reception was his third TD reception of more than 75 yards, a franchise record.

• Tom Brady finished 21 of 36 for 237 yards with two interceptions. It was his fourth career game with no touchdowns and multiple interceptions.

• Brady's 237 passing yards gave him 29,732 for his career, passing Drew Bledsoe for the most in Patriots' history.

• The Patriots fell to 1-4 in road games this year, with their only win coming against the Bucs in London. New England's streak of 17 wins in interconference regular-season games, the longest in NFL history, came to an end.

• Bloggers' reactions

-- ESPN Stats & Information

It was the second time the Patriots (7-4) lost to an unbeaten team on the road in three weeks. Unlike in Indianapolis, there was no drama at the end this time, only thunderous chants of, "Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints?"

"There's obviously a big gap between us," Brady said. "It wasn't nearly as competitive as we all were expecting."

Brady, returning to the Louisiana Superdome for the first time since leading the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title in 2002, won't have many fond memories of this game. He was intercepted twice, sacked once, hit as he threw several times and pulled from the game in the fourth quarter with New Orleans leading by three TDs.

"There's a reason why they are 11-0," Brady said. "They played really well and we didn't play up to their level."

Brady finished 21 of 36 for 237 yards and did not throw a TD pass. He did, however, become New England's career passing leader, eclipsing Drew Bledsoe's mark of 29,657 yards.

Brady fell short of tying the record for consecutive games with 300 yards passing. He had done it in his previous five games, one short of the mark shared by Steve Young, Kurt Warner and Rich Gannon.

The Patriots were within a touchdown early in the third quarter after marching 81 yards on a drive highlighted by Brady's 47-yard completion to Randy Moss, which set up Laurence Maroney's 2-yard TD.

New Orleans needed only three plays to get it back, though. Brees hit Colston along the right sideline and the receiver turned it into a 68-yard gain by eluding Jonathan Wilhite's tackle. That set up tight end Dinkins' first TD of the season on a 2-yard pass to make it 31-17.

Belichick called his defense "really bad."

"We had several blown coverages and they took advantage," he said. "There were enormous mistakes on our part. You can't make those mistakes against a good team."

Clearly worried about his club's ability to stop Brees, Belichick made his latest unconventional fourth-down call.

Unlike in Indianapolis, where the Patriots tried to put the game away by going for it in their own territory late in the fourth quarter, New England this time went for it on fourth-and-4 from the New Orleans 10 in the third quarter.

Brady's pass for Moss along the left sideline was broken up by Mike McKenzie, who was playing for the first time since fracturing his right kneecap a year ago. The play preserved New Orleans' two-touchdown lead.

McKenzie apparently had little trouble learning the system of new Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. McKenzie also had an interception in the first half that stalled a promising Patriots drive and led to a Saints score. Darren Sharper intercepted Brady in the fourth quarter, ending the quarterback's night.

Brees' scoring passes of 18 yards to Thomas, 75 yards to Henderson and 38 yards to Meachem gave New Orleans a 24-10 lead at halftime.

Brees -- who threw six TDs in Week 1 against Detroit -- made the long TD to Henderson look easy, recognizing that Wilhite's blitz had left the receiver wide open. Brees' 20-yard TD pass to Colston with 7:49 to go left little doubt about the outcome.

Game notes

The Saints have 22 interceptions this season, which leads the NFL. Sharper has eight. ... Saints CB Chris McAlister, signed two weeks ago, played for the first time since having surgery on his right knee a year ago. ... The Saints said cornerback Randall Gay had a leg injury but were not more specific. ... New England lost a regular-season game in New Orleans for the first time after winning its previous four.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2318
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays7050
Total Yards366480
Yards per play5.29.6
Total Drives1111
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-42-4
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

noFG11:18John Carney 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 53 yds, 3:46
neTD3:39Laurence Maroney 4 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 14 plays, 80 yds, 7:40
noTD13:04Pierre Thomas 18 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 59 yds, 3:07
noTD10:02Devery Henderson 75 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 75 yds, 0:00
neFG4:17Stephen Gostkowski 36 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 58 yds, 5:39
noTD1:57Robert Meachem 38 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 76 yds, 2:24
neTD10:28Laurence Maroney 2 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 81 yds, 4:16
noTD9:06Darnell Dinkins 2 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 74 yds, 1:22
noTD7:55Marques Colston 20 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 75 yds, 5:18