After seven games the Saints' recipe for success is a simple one. It contains one ingredient and everyone knows it. That ingredient is Drew Brees -- and right now, Drew Brees only.
The Saints don't run the ball and can't stop the run. Can't generate a pass rush and don't force turnovers.
After Sunday night's win Peyton Manning was saying,"All deep passes are all play action. So if you're not running the ball well, there is no reason to bite on play action."
Before Sunday night's game no one ran the ball more seldom than the Saints -- 20 carries per game -- and less effectively than their 76 yards a game on the ground. Sunday night they fell short of even those paltry performances -- 17 attempts for 51 yards to the Broncos' 41 attempts for 225 yards.
While conventional wisdom says you run to set up the pass, the Saints pass to set up more passing. That is the only way they're likely to win. Of that they're convinced. They can't rely on anything else and without evidence to the contrary, they reason, why should we try.
In Chicago the Bear defense has returned six interceptions for touchdowns. The Saints have three interceptions total as a team and no returns of any variety for a score.
The Broncos look down at the rest of a disintegrating AFC West from first place and they look ahead at a schedule that shows Denver's next six opponents all with losing records.
The Saints can only look down upon the Carolina Panthers in the NFC South while looking up at the only unbeaten team in the NFL in the Atlanta Falcons, who come to visit a week from Sunday.
Speculation that the Saints could become the first team in league history to host the Super Bowl has long since dissipated. Instead Saints fans can only take a small measure of comfort in the possibility that Super Bowl 47 will include favorite sons in Peyton and Eli Manning, instead of their favorite team.