A victory with mixed emotions for the second consecutive week as the Saints won 34-31 in Dallas. On this same day they were eliminated from any chance at the playoffs due to a Vikings win, and we're left wondering why they couldn't play like this more consistently this season. It was a game full of ups and downs, but there is no question in my mind that the better team won this game. Without Dez Bryant and Jabari Greer going down with a concussion, Dallas would have never come close to making a game of it. Below are my bullet thoughts on the game.
- Brees had a fantastic game with no turnovers. The Saints had decent balance with 53 passes and 38 runs, and Brees in all those attempts never turned it over. He threw for 446 yards.
- The defense, other than some spotty tackling here and there and horrible coverage by Patrick Robinson on Dez Bryant, was largely ok.
- The Saints only averaged 3.1 yards per carry, but their commitment to the run helped them move the ball more efficiently.
- Receivers dropped a lot of balls. Without that, Brees would have thrown for 500 easy. Colston, Henderson and Jimmy Graham (multiple times) were the most egregious offenders.
- Jimmy Graham, for all his drops, dislocated his finger badly, had it popped back in on the sideline and looked in obvious major pain, but came back in and won the game with that recovery of Colston's fumble. Warrior.
- The pass protection was largely outstanding.
- Marques Colston had a monsterous game. He dropped a pass had fumbled twice, though, so ball security wasn't great.
- The Saints exposed the Cowboys repeatedly by throwing to their running backs. Clearly the Cowboys' backers are horrific in coverage and the Saints recognized that.
- Morstead averaged a 40.8 net today which will hurt him a bit. Not idea where that puts him on the record, but it's in danger for sure.
- The defense gave up 446 yards, almost assuring they will be the worst defense in NFL history after the Panthers game.
- Garrett Hartley missed a chip shot 36 yards, and almost missed another short kick. Definitely a shaky game for him. His game winning 20 yarder in overtime was right down the middle though.
That's it. We'll finish the 2012 campaign at the dome next Sunday against the Panthers.