How do I even recap a game like that and do it any kind of justice? There is no two ways around this one, that was a brutal loss. As bad as it gets. That one will sting for a long time, worse because we're now left with that taste in our mouth going into the bye. The Saints had two golden opportunities to put this game away, all that was needed was a first down. They couldn't get one, though, and Tom Brady put a miraculous drive for the ages together to rip out the Saints' heart with 5 seconds left in the game. Both teams are now 5-1 and the Saints will head into the bye week nursing some injuries, including those of Cam Jordan and Jimmy Graham (neither appeared to be too too serious). Some observations in this one:
- Brees was just off all game. Way off. The throw to Kenny Stills to give them the lead late notwithstanding, he missed numerous throws including a gimme touchdown pass to Nick Toon. He forced way too many balls to Graham and Sproles when other guys were open and he was fortunate to only have one interception. That pick was horrid, by the way.
- Two major mistakes by the ref crew in this one. The first was a false start called on Jahri Evans before haltime on 4th and 1. That was clear encroachment. The Saints had to punt instead of getting the first down. The second was that Brees clearly called a timeout two seconds before the ball was snapped and wasn't awarded one. After that non time out was Brees' interception on the same play. Two major game changing impact plays there. The officiating crew just has to be better than that. I didn't have an issue with the Malcolm Jenkins hit as much, there seemed to be helmet contact.
- The defense was by and large superb yet again, sacking Brady 5 times and getting an interception too.
- The offensive line had by far their best game of the season. They gave up just one sack and had fantastic protection all day long, and the Saints rushed for 131 yards at 5.0 yards per carry. Hard to believe the Saints got the best performance from their o-line this season and lost.
- Brees threw 18 of his 36 attempts to Sproles and Graham. He completed just 6 of them. When the other team knows where it's coming and covers it you have to go elsewhere.
- Jimmy Graham was owned by Aqib Talib, the Patriots' top cover man who they elected to cover Graham all game until his injury. But once Talib left, Graham was still useless. While the Pats did a good job stopping Graham, he had two awful drops and he still had chances out there... he just didn't seem to want to play. He injured his ankle late.
- Khiry Robinson needs to see the football more. He ran like a beast out there. Pierre did his thing, too.
- Kenny Stills had a crazy 34 yard touchdown catch to give the Saints a 24-23 lead on 3rd and 20! One of the few fantastic plays by Brees all day, but sick job by Stills to go up and make that play.
- Travaris Cadet had a random cameo with a 3 yard touchdown reception. Sproles got banged up so he saw a little more action.
- Jabari Greer was beaten with 5 seconds left on a throw to Kenbrell Thompkins from 17 yards out. The coverage wasn't awful, he just got outjumped to the ball. Brutal.
- Rafael Bush laid some nasty hits all game long. Malcolm Jenkins too. Those boys can hit.
- The Saints blitzed relentlessly in this game, kudos to Rob Ryan for always giving the Patriots' o-line a different look so they didn't get comfortable.
- Neither Tom Brady nor Drew Brees played well in this game. I thought both looked barely above average missing multiple throws that could have blown the game open.
- Stevan Ridley is the real deal. The Saints were good stopping the run on 1st and 10 but Ridley is a slippery back that hits the hole hard.
- I thought the Saints' tackling was suspect in the first half, better in the second.
- Akiem Hicks was all over the place. Great game by the young end.
- I know this comes off weird but for the Saints to come into New England and play as bad as they did, but stick around, get a huge performance from the offensive line and play like that defensively gives me huge optimism for the rest of the season. This team can go really far. This is a valuable lesson for them they can learn from.
The Saints are now on a bye week starting right away and will use the time off to nurse numerous injuries. Then, the Saints will return to the Dome for a VERY winnable game against the Bills. Hang in there Saints fans, still tons to look forward to this year. This is a great team and they showed it today. This was a horrible loss to experience, to be sure, but this team showed they can go on the road and beat anyone. Most importantly, this defense showed they can make the big stops. That's what this team will need to go far.
I think the Saints loss was deserved, or at least it was deserved for both teams to win. A perfect 2 minute drive by Brady. I can have peace with that. I congratulate them.
That said, one play I will remember as the worst play in Saints regular season history: A non awarded timeout (that should be chalengable!!). And if not a TO, the playclock hit 0 2 seconds before the ball was snapped. That followed by a slightly off guard Brees who threw an INT and on the same play Graham got hurt. This officiating crew had the level of the replacement refs last season. Is there a way you can give them a 2 game suspension for fucking up a game?
Indeed, not Greers fault. The throw was just perfect just like Brees to Stills throw for a TD was perfect.
You say the O-line was good. Ok, there seemed improvement. But there was no Wilfork and they had 2 Rookies in their defensive line.
They held Graham to 0 yards. That was a good effort on their part. Brees should have thrown more to the other guys. Then Sproles would have been more open and it would have been more a Sproles game. Before the game I told a friend that if any team would know how to defend Graham it would be the Pats since they practice with Gronk. Also the Saints would have known how to contain Gronk. I think it is kind of sad that we didn't get to see TE vs TE. But the show would have been boring anyway.
Luckily for us.. this could have been worse. What if the Bengals didn't hold Brady without a TD that game. He would have tied Brees for the record with 5 seconds to go!
It's so odd that the D is doing more than enough but our O can't get one first down. Is this really happening?
But, yeah. I wasn't even disappointed at that loss. Even when we were not playing our best, we made them earn that win. On their turf. I believe that this team is going to be great this year. I'm impressed.
Typical Saints football; snatching defeat from the jaws of victory! I had hoped that those days were over!
Not sure who to blame for this loss: the offense, the defense, the coaching or the officiating!
The Saints found out the hard way that you don't keep giving possessions to a QB like Brady when a TD will beat you
Also the holding on the TD pass was not called. I call that game casualties. It happens. But missing a timeout call is beyond my comprehension.
@SaintsWillWIn Umm.....did you not see the holding going on in the last play of the game? If Gallette was not held, Brady would have been eating turf. The officials gave the Patriots this game many times over. I see it as a win for the Saints if it would have been officiated fairly.
@SaintsWillWIn how is that typical? Did you watch the Falcons and Bucs games this year? Have you watched the team the last 7 years one time? 3 division titles? A Super Bowl? An NFC championship game? 4 times in the playoffs? What's "typical" of this team is WINNING. Comparing this team to historical versions of it coached by Bum Phillips is the most pathetic fan approach of all time. I'm sorry. The team is 5-1. They are a Super Bowl contender. They lost ON THE ROAD to a 5-1 team. It happens. How many teams in the NFL go into New England and have Tom Brady by his balls? You act like the team is 1-5. There is no place for comparing them to the Saints of old. Sorry. There is no comparison whatsoever. Even suggesting it is uncalled for.
How many times have we seen the Saints lose games they would have won if they had made the most basic plays in football: tackling, knocking a pass down, running for a first down instead of getting cute and calling a QB bootleg or a double reverse?
Sometimes the Saints can't get out of their own way when it comes to winning games!
The Saints should have stomped a mud hole in the Patriots and then walked it dry!!
There is no reason that game should have been as close as it was!!