Jeff Duncan: Payton & Brees’ resourcefulness on display again

Jeff Duncan: Payton & Brees’ resourcefulness on display again
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks with quarterback Drew Brees (9) in the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in New Orleans, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) (Source: Butch Dill)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The Saints offense is like a good gumbo. The ingredients might change from week to week, but in the end, the finished product usually tastes great regardless of the recipe.

This was true again on Sunday, when the Saints beat the Carolina Panthers, 27-24, at the Superdome.

The Saints won their third consecutive game largely because of a dominant and efficient offensive performance. They converted a season-high 12 of 14 third downs, dominated time of possession and scored on five of their first six drives. The Saints were so good on offense that Thomas Morstead didn’t attempt a single punt in four quarters of work. That’s only happened seven other times in club history.

And the Saints did all this, while playing without star receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and losing starting left tackle Terron Armstead midway through the first half.

It was yet another vintage performance by Drew Brees and Sean Payton, who resourcefully cooked up enough key plays to overcome an untimely turnover and another spotty performance by the defense.

As they have been for a decade and a half now, Payton and Brees are the essential elements for the Saints. Like a good roux, they form the foundation that makes everything else work. The rest of the offensive ingredients might be as humble as onions, celery, bell peppers and flour, but when you combine it all together, the flavors intensify and you end up with a mouth-watering treat.

So the lesson here is to stop fretting about the injuries and attrition.

It doesn’t matter who’s in the lineup, whether it’s Thomas and Sanders or Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris, as long as Payton is cooking up the game plan and Brees is dishing out the passes, the Saints offense is going to eat.

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