Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints kept marching, unbeaten and undaunted, through their 2013 NFL campaign Monday night, handing Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins their first loss of the season.
The battle of the previously unbeaten teams went down in The Big Easy, with the Saints playing host at the Superdome. New Orleans wasted no time getting it started; beginning at their own 18 yard line, the Saints drove downfield and scored on the opening possession with a 5-yard touchdown run from Darren Sproles.
Tannehill and the Dolphins responded with a drive downfield of their own, starting on their own 17 yard line. They made it all the way to the New Orleans 9 yard line but were unable to convert on 3rd-and-1 and settled for a field goal, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
“I felt like we found our rhythm,” Brees said after the game. “Every time we touched the ball, it felt like we were going to go down and score points.”
Brees—quickly becoming Mr. Monday Night—reminded the Dolphins of the error of their ways by passing on the chance to sign him seven years ago, throwing for 413 yards and four touchdown passes, two to Jimmy Graham and one each for Sproles and Benjamin Watson. Graham’s production gave him his third-straight game with at least 100 yards receiving.
The New Orleans Saints have won their last nine Monday Night Football appearances, all with Brees taking the snaps at QB.
“He plays out of this world,” Graham said of Brees. “This team is so dynamic, we have so many weapons and Drew knows exactly where to go with the ball.”
With Monday night’s win, they remain one of five unbeaten teams in the National Football League, joined by the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. The Miami Dolphins, also unbeaten heading into Monday night’s showdown, were unable to keep pace with the Saints, scoring touchdowns on a 5-yard run from Lamar Miller and a 3-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill to Charles Clay.
“We’ll find out a lot about the team we have by the way we come back tomorrow,” Miami coach Joe Philbin said.
“I just don’t feel that team was as good as everybody was saying they were,” New Orleans linebacker Junior Galette said of Miami. “We just abused the offensive line all game.”