New Orleans -- We've been accustomed to some fantastic aerial displays over the years by Drew Brees, and in the first half against the Cowboys, Saints fans witnessed another one.
Brees went 26-30 passing, 252 yards, with three touchdown strikes. At one point he tied his own personal best with 19 straight completions. His exploits buried the Cowboys chances of ever making the contest close.
Brees would finish 34-41 passing, 392 yards, four touchdowns. His unit also broke an NFL record with 40 first downs on the night.
The red-hot offense was one of the key reasons why the Saints came out victorious over the Cowboys 49-17.
The Saints improved to 7-2 on the season, and the Cowboys fell to 5-5.
After the Cowboys put up an early field goal, Brees took over the game. On the Saints first scoring drive they mixed the pass and run to perfection. Coach Sean Payton dialed up five passes, and four runs on the 80-yard drive. It was capped off by a Brees to Marques Colston 22-yard touchdown. The score put the Saints up 7-3.
The Saints would relinquish that lead on the very next Cowboys drive.
DeMarco Murray received six carries on the scoring possession, racking up 67 yards total. He would finish the Cowboys drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. Dallas now led 10-7, but would never be ahead again.
Brees and his unit would deliver on their longest drive time-wise after trailing 10-7. The Saints offense cranked out a 15-play, 80-yard possession, taking up 8:56 off the clock. Brees would connect with Pierre Thomas for a 1-yard touchdown score, Saints back on top 14-10.
The next drive would be a little shorter time-wise for the Saints, but would end in the same result. Another balanced possession by the black and gold would finish with a Darren Sproles 3-yard touchdown run. This time the Saints only took 2:29 off the board, and put the Cowboys down 21-10.
By far the most impressive scoring sequence by the Saints came right before half. They marched down the field using only six plays, 48 seconds, and covered 75 yards. Brees would connect with Sproles on 28-yard touchdown, bringing the Saints advantage to 28-10.
In the third quarter, the Saints scoring continued. Brees and his crew mounted a six-play, 92-yard assault on Monte Kiffin's unit. The drive would come to its conclusion on a Mark Ingram four-yard touchdown run. The Saints balanced effort put them in the lead 35-10.
Tony Romo's offense finally responded right at the end of the third quarter. He led the Cowboys on a five-play, 89-yard scoring drive, ending with a 21-yard touchdown reception by Terrance Williams. All 89 yards of the drive were by air. Cowboys were down 35-17 at this point.
Brees and the offense never to be upstaged, responded on their next drive. Kenny Stills got on the score sheet when he adjusted perfectly on an under thrown pass by Brees. His scoring reception covered 52-yards, and the Saints led 42-17.
Then the ground game of the Saints flexed it's muscles. Mark Ingram totaled 59 yards rushing on the next scoring drive, which ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Thomas. The final touchdown would end the blowout at 49-17.
Ingram finished with 145 yards rushing and a score, Thomas totaled 87 by ground, with two touchdowns total.
The Saints 242 yards rushing was the most in the Payton era.
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