|Snap Judgments: Saints Crush Pats, 38-17||11.30.09 at 11:36 pm ET|
NEW ORLEANS — The Saints just finished vaporizing the Patriots, 38-17, in front of a raucous Monday night crowd here at the Superdome. We’ll have more shortly, but here are a few quick notes worth passing along.
•What else can be said? The game was nowhere near as close as the score would indicate. The Patriots were never in this one after the midway point of the second quarter when, with New England holding a 7-3 lead and driving for another score, Tom Brady airmailed a ball that New Orleans safety Mike McKenzie picked off. (It was the first of two bad interceptions for Brady, who pulled a Sanchez in the fourth quarter and hit Darren Sharper right between the numbers.)
•A quick look at the stats: Brady was yanked for Brian Hoyer midway through the fourth quarter, and finished 21-for-36 for 237 yards with no touchdowns and two picks. Two players had good nights for the New England offense, Laurence Maroney (64 rushing yards, two TDs) and Sam Aiken (90 receiving yards). On the other side of the ball … well, where do you want to start? Drew Brees was electric (18-for-23, 371 yards, five touchdowns), while Pierre Thomas ran for 64 yards and Marques Colston (121 receiving yards) and Devery Henderson (116 receiving yards) ran wild all night.
•The Saints’ offense pantsed the New England defense. The Patriots had absolutely no answer to anything that New Orleans did all night. Brees was in control of this one all night, spreading the wealth to a variety of wide receivers on the way to a perfect passer rating. New England had a bunch of missed tackles and it fell for Brees’ pump fakes. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it embarrassing — other good defenses have looked foolish at the expense of the Saints — but as it stands right now, the Patriots certainly don’t have a championship-caliber defense.
•There are very few positives for the Patriots to take out of this game. The offense was unable to get anything started through the final two-plus quarters, while the defense submitted one of its worst efforts of the year. Even the New England special teams — which has improved greatly over the course of the season — had a bad night. Stephen Gostkowski missed a field goal at the end of the first half and struggled to reach the end zone. In addition, Matthew Slater was absolutely LIT UP on a second-half kickoff return.
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