NEW ORLEANS — Who was Dat?!
Quarterback Drew Brees threw four landing passes to four completely different undrafted players on Thursday evening because the New Orleans Saints beat the rival Atlanta Falcons 31-17 for his or her 10th straight victory.
The Saints are the primary crew within the Tremendous Bowl period to have four completely different undrafted players with a receiving landing in a recreation, in accordance to ESPN Stats & Data.
Additionally, in accordance to the Elias Sports activities Bureau, New Orleans is the primary crew for the reason that 1984 Pittsburgh Steelers to have four completely different players rating their 1st-or-2nd profession landing in the identical recreation.
Brees additionally tied a NFL document — set by Falcons QB Matt Ryan in 2016 — by throwing TD passes to 13 completely different players this season.
These four players (third-year WR Tommylee Lewis, second-year WR Austin Carr, first-year TE Dan Arnold and rookie WR Keith Kirkwood) had a complete of solely two profession TD catches heading into Thursday’s recreation.
However Brees, who’s having a season for the ages at age 39, hasn’t any bother improvising whereas the accidents maintain piling up in New Orleans’ receiving corps this 12 months.
Rookie starter Tre’Quan Smith was dominated inactive with a foot harm earlier than Thursday’s recreation, and the Saints have additionally misplaced veteran receivers Ted Ginn Jr., Cameron Meredith and Dez Bryant to injured reserve because the season has gone on. They signed veteran Brandon Marshall for depth final week, however he has not appeared in a recreation but.
And but the Saints (10-1) simply maintain rolling on with the NFL’s highest-scoring offense (37.2 factors per recreation). Brees has thrown 29 TD passes on the season with simply two interceptions (together with one within the first quarter on Thursday evening).
Brees confirmed related improvisational abilities earlier this week in Sunday’s 48-7 rout of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles had been the primary protection to actually deal with taking each receiver Michael Thomas and operating again Alvin Kamara out of the Saints’ passing recreation by repeatedly double-teaming each. So Brees mentioned he went to the younger receivers on the sideline and instructed them, “You guys are the matchups. The ball’s coming to you. So prepare. We’re gonna have a giant day.”
Certain sufficient, Smith had a breakout recreation with 10 catches for 157 yards and a landing, Carr caught his first profession TD move, and Kirkwood caught three passes for 33 yards within the first quarter in simply his second NFL recreation.
By including Carr, Arnold and Kirkwood to his resume over the previous 5 days, Brees has now thrown TD passes to 51 completely different players in his 13 years with the Saints.
Smith’s harm should not be a long-term one. He was in a position to follow on a restricted foundation Wednesday and mentioned he was optimistic that he would give you the option to in a position to play.
The Saints play once more subsequent Thursday evening at Dallas.