Monday night used to be Drew Brees’ night. Led by a sage-breaking performance by the future Hall of Fame quarterback, the Unique Orleans Saints (11-3) trounced the Indianapolis Colts (6-8) within the Superdome, 34-7, to close out Week 15. Here is what we realized from the historical night:
1. Drew Brees’ legend in Unique Orleans and the NFL grew three sizes on Monday night, because the Saints quarterback broke yet one other profession passing sage — and tossed in an in-game passing sage besides. Brees threw four touchdown passes in opposition to a beleaguered Colts secondary, another than used to be predominant to top Peyton Manning’s sage imprint of 539. Brees tied Manning’s sage with his second TD scoot within the second quarter and honest about broke it honest sooner than halftime, but an offensive scoot interference call on Tre’Quan Smith nullified a doable sage-breaker to the wideout and Unique Orleans settled for a discipline aim. Out of the half, despite the indisputable reality that, Brees carried out the job. His 5-yard play-action TD scoot to backup tight close and human trivialities acknowledge Josh Hill gave Brees No. 540, sent the Superdome into hysterics and if truth be told clinched the easy, Breesy high-time victory.
Brees wasn’t by, despite the indisputable reality that. Not simplest did he add one other touchdown scoot to Taysom Hill later within the third quarter, but the Saints QB carried out the game having carried out 29 of 30 scoot attempts for an NFL-sage 96.7 completion percentage, breaking Philip Rivers’ sage (96.6). A quintessential night for the future Hall of Famer: Brees used to be prolific (307 yards), efficient (96.7 comp. pct.), deadly (four TDs) and beneficiant (four TDs caught by four different receivers). Unique Orleans’ offense, recent off a disappointing defeat in a shootout with San Francisco, is in a accurate location, in section attributable to its unflappable and immortal quarterback, Saint amongst males, king of the dome, holder of data.
2. As impressive as Brees’ night used to be — and it used to be — the Saints will seemingly be most happy as they rest their heads on Tuesday morning with the jump-inspire performance from their protection. One game after surrendering Forty eight functions to the 49ers within the dome, Unique Orleans gave up factual seven to the contending Colts (a unhurried fourth-quarter TD), permitting a season-low 205 entire yards and 16 first downs within the technique. Obvious, Indianapolis used to be immediate-handed and on its last legs within the playoff urge, but the Saints had been no longer at elephantine strength either. Long previous from the line of defense had been Marcus Davenport and Sheldon Rankins, shelved on injured reserve. Vonn Bell, Kiko Alonso and Patrick Robinson had been all slothful. Between those 5 avid gamers, that is 1,927 defensive snaps on the sideline! In their stead, Demario Davis, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and a deep line of defense stepped up — eight Saints defensive linemen logged at the very least 20 snaps on Monday, and none more than 27. Abet is on the vogue — Unique Orleans claimed cornerback Janoris Jenkins off waivers Monday — but the Saints protection doesn’t need a lot if Monday night is any indication.
3. Here lie the 2019 Colts. Indy’s defeat on Monday night, its fourth in a row and sixth within the last seven weeks, clinched the Colts’ elimination from playoff opponents. Within the span of four weeks, Indy went from AFC South darlings and ability favorites to draw close the division to out of it sooner than Dec. 17. The Colts’ hasty fall from grace also can honest moreover be attributed to injuries on offense (T.Y. Hilton, Marlon Mack) and a nasty stretch in opposition to Houston, Tennessee, Jameis Winston and Unique Orleans. Nonetheless Indy did no longer peep in any appreciate the section of a playoff employees on Monday night, letting Brees beget time his milestones with ease and failing to place up a lot of a protection on offense. Jacoby Brissett carried out factual 5 of 15 first-half passes and got no aid from a go game that picked up 17 yards on 10 first-half carries. By the level Indy got the ball for the first time within the second half, the Colts had been down 27-0, with the game, and their season, neatly over.
4. Michael Thomas see: With 12 more receptions on 12 targets for 128 yards and a touchdown (Brees’ first of the night), Thomas grew his league-leading receptions entire to 133. The Saints wideout wants 11 receptions in Unique Orleans’ last two games to scoot Marvin Harrison for most catches in a season (143). Thomas may per chance beget that within the first half subsequent week. Not to be outdone by his QB, Thomas broke about a data of his have Monday night: His eighth game with at the very least 10 receptions is tied for essentially the most in a single season within the Dapper Bowl generation. Thomas changed into factual the fourth participant to ever haul in at the very least 130 catches in a season, becoming a member of Harrison, Antonio Brown and Julio Jones. TL;DR: He’s staunch.
5. Hilton returned Monday night from a calf damage that had sidelined him for 5 of Indy’s last six games but had shrimp affect on the court cases. The old long-established wideout seen half of the Colts’ offensive snaps (26), fewer than that of Marcus Johnson, Zach Pascal and Dontrelle Inman. Hilton used to be targeted nine instances in those snaps despite the indisputable reality that, catching four balls for 25 yards. Too shrimp, too unhurried for T.Y.
6. The Colts are cooked, but the Saints are cooking within the NFC. Unique Orleans, already champions of the NFC South, holds an 11-3 sage with two games to play and is tied for essentially the most efficient sage within the convention with Seattle, Green Bay and San Francisco. The logjam atop the convention within the intervening time slots the division-leading Seahawks and Packers above the Saints attributable to superior convention sage (8-2 vs. 8-3). Unique Orleans finishes with the playoff-hungry Titans in Tennessee on Sunday and the absent Panthers in Carolina in Week 17. The Saints can composed clinch a first-round bye and even dwelling-discipline advantage but that destiny is never any longer in their control.