‘I would say there’s room for improvement’ - Saints enjoy OT win over Chargers but know there’s still lots to clean up
NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - History and just normal probability were not on the Saints' side during the Monday Night Football game against the Chargers in the second quarter.
In the Drew Brees era, when trailing by 17 points or more in a game in the regular season or postseason, New Orleans was 1-48. The lone win came back in 2009 against the Dolphins but Brees and the offense somehow channeled some of that inner 2009 Super Bowl season magic to rally and win the game to move to 3-2 on the season.
“I would say there’s room for improvement,” said Brees. “We want to start faster. We shouldn’t have had to mount the comeback we had to mount to win this game.”
The Saints were down 20-3 with 4:25 left in the first half before mounting their comeback. Brees was 33-of-47 for 325 yards and one touchdown in the game. He threw one interception and also rushed for a score.
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Brees now has 13 career overtime wins as a starting quarterback, breaking a tie with Tom Brady for the most all-time dating back to when regular season OT rules were first instituted in 1974. And, in large part, he can thank his veteran wideout Emmanuel Sanders, who had a career-high in catches with 12.
Sanders had 122 receiving yards on his dozen receptions. It was his first 100-yard receiving game as a Saint. The two appear to be on the same page and have built the chemistry that they talked about in the offseason.
“That feels good; something to build off of and we got the win, so that’s all that matters,” Sanders noted.
“I thought he played well,” added head coach Sean Payton. “We started getting the ball in his hands a little later in the half and then the second half but I thought overall, he played well.”
As they head into the bye during week six, players were adamant after the game that they have to get things cleaned up to be an elite team in 2020.
“That’s something we have to break down the film and get right soon, especially when it comes down to trying to be a stout defense,” said defensive end Cam Jordan. “That’s (big plays) something we can’t give up.”
Jordan tied with linebacker Demario Davis with the most tackles in the game for the Saints defense. Both had 10 total. Jordan had five solo tackles, a half-sack, three tackles for loss, and a hit on quarterback Justin Herbert. As a whole, the defense had three sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 12 QB hits.
“We’ll be in tomorrow. We’ll be in the next day. We’ll be able to address some of the things we feel we haven’t done well and get ready then to start playing after the bye,” Payton explained.
In terms of the Michael Thomas suspension and possibly moving forward with more games, Payton quickly dismissed it and said he wasn’t going to talk about it. He said he was only going to talk about the players that played in this win.
The Saints once again find themselves atop the NFC South. They are in a three-way tie at 3-2 with the Bucs and Panthers but the Saints beat the Bucs in week one and the Bucs beat the Panthers in week two.
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