Saints still topping the NFC
The Saints are back on schedule.
Just two weeks after the Patriots scored a touchdown with five seconds left to hand them their first loss of the season, New Orleans picked up the pieces of their broken heart and rolled over the Bills 35-17.
The defusing loss in New England looked to have a bit of a hangover affect early on. Until scoring with three minutes left before the half, the Saints were committing penalties by the bunches, only had 64 total yards and trailed Buffalo 10-7.
However, the offense finally got in gear when Drew Brees hit rookie Kenny Stills for a 69-yars score to give the lead back to New Orleans at 14-10. From then on, Brees and the Saint offense was near-unstoppable.
When it was all said and done, Brees finished 26-34 for 332 yards and five touchdowns.
Stills finished with 129 yards and two of those touchdown grabs. Tight end Jimmy Graham, despite being hampered by a foot injury, had two scores of his own.
New Orleans even got a slight boost from their ground game with Pierre Thomas giving them 65 rushing yards.
But like most of the year, the defense was a pleasant surprise. In no way do the Bills have one of the top offensive units in the league, but the Who Dat nation had to be pleased with how they rebounded from their worst outing of the year up in New England.
They held Buffalo to under 20 points and under 300 yards of total offense and along the way, they forced three turnovers.
Quarterback Thad Lewis was making his second start in the place of injured rookie QB E.J. Manuel. Lewis played well in a win last week against the Dolphins, but he was absolutely terrorized by the Saint defense.
Though he completed 22 of 39 passes for 234 yards, New Orleans held him to just five yards rushing, picked him off once and forced him to fumble on three difference occasions--recovering two of the loose balls.
In addition to that, they sacked him four times and hit him five other times.
Cameron Jordan came away with one of the sacks. He has flourished and lived up to his first-round selection this season in Rob Ryan's new defensive scheme.
Not even mid-way through the season, he already has six sacks--which leads the team. Prior to this year, he only had 15 career sacks through two seasons.
The free agent pickup from the offseason, Keenan Lewis, continued his solid play as well as he accounted for Thad Lewis' lone interception. It was his second game in a row with a pick. He now has three for the year.
The solid win moved the Saints to 6-1 overall--which ties them with the Seahawks for the best record in the NFC.
No doubt, there will be a heated battle between the two teams to see who can finish with the best record. Whichever team does so, will be rewarded with homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
With each team being so dominant at home, that very well could decide which squad will be representing the NFC in the Super Bowl come February.
The Saints will have to take care of business this week as they travel to New Jersey to play the Jets. Rob Ryan will be going head to head with his twin brother, Rex.
New York should be plenty motivated after getting obliterated 49-9 by the Bengals on Sunday. Just a week before that, they upset the Patriots in overtime.
It's crucial New Orleans gets the win because the five-game stretch that follows is brutal.
After coming back from New Jersey, they host back-to-back games against the Cowboys and 49ers. They then have back-to-back road games against the Falcons and Seahawks before hosting the 4-3 Panthers--a team that beat them twice last year.