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On the day he became the NFL's career leader
04-12-2018 07:48 AM
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On the day he became the NFL's career leader


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in completed passes Youth Michael Thomas Jersey , Drew Brees' biggest plays came as a runner.Brees' 1-yard run capped an 80-yard touchdown drive to open overtime that lifted the New Orleans Saints to a 43-37 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.That came after his 7-yard score late in the fourth quarter forced the overtime. After the Saints won the coin toss, Brees and the Saints held the ball for more than seven minutes.Brees jumped over the pile on a quarterback keeper after his apparent 3-yard TD pass to Alvin Kamara was overturned. A review determined Kamara's knee was down before he crossed the goal line. Brees scored on the following play, giving the Saints (2-1) the win."This was a wild one," said Brees, who passed for 396 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores. Kamara had 15 catches for 124 yards and ran for 66 yards.Brees' biggest play before the winner might have been his improbable 7-yard scoring run with 1:15 remaining that forced overtime. He ran to his left and then spun to avoid tackle attempts by Brian Poole and Robert Alford."At some point, I felt they were coming to take my head off and I could probably spin out of it," Brees said, adding he now has film evidence to show the youth flag football team he coaches that "spin moves work. Spin moves are good."With his 14th completed pass, the 39-year-old Brees broke the record of 6,300 career completions set by Hall of Famer Brett Favre. Brees set the mark with a 17-yard pass to Michael Thomas in the second quarter."I'm just very grateful," Brees said. "I hope there's a lot more coming. I just think about all the people who have had a hand in that. A lot of hands have caught a lot of passes. ... They are all a part of this."Atlanta's Matt Ryan had his first career game with five scoring passes. Calvin Ridley became the first Atlanta rookie with three scoring catches. That wasn't enough for the Falcons (1-2) against Brees and the high-scoring Saints, who gained 534 yards.Ryan bemoaned a lost opportunity when the Falcons were forced to punt when stopped at the Atlanta 44 with 25 seconds remaining in overtime."We had chances to finish the game today and we didn't do that," Ryan said. "That's disappointing."Saints coach Sean Payton called the defensive stop "a huge part of the win."Ryan passed for 374 yards , including 146 to Ridley, who had seven receptions, including a 75-yard TD.Ridley's third scoring catch against the Saints was a 9-yarder early in the third quarter that held up following a review.Ryan's five touchdown passes tied the team record set by Wade Wilson on Dec. 13, 1992, at Tampa Bay.The fifth scoring pass to Mohamed Sanu came after Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata was called for unnecessary roughness on Matt Bryant's 29-yard field goal. With the penalty, the Falcons' offense came back on the field.Ridley beat P.J. Williams on his first two scoring catches, an 18-yarder in the first quarter and the 75-yarder in the second quarter.The Saints made a defensive switch, moving Ken Crawley into coverage on Ridley. Crawley was called for pass interference on a deep incompletion to Ridley early in the third quarter that gave Atlanta a first down at the New Orleans 5. On second down from the 9, Ridley's third scoring catch gave the Falcons a 21-16 lead.Brees completed his first four passes, including a 19-yard scoring pass to Ted Ginn Jr. on the Saints' opening drive.INJURY REPORTSaints reserve cornerback Patrick Robinson was carted from the field early in the third quarter with a left ankle injury. He did not return.Falcons safety Ricardo Allen left early in overtime with a left calf injury. He was helped to the sideline and then driven on a cart to the locker room. ... Reserve cornerback Justin Bethel injured a knee in the third quarter. ... Atlanta rookie linebacker Foyesade Oluokun left in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.THOMAS THRIVINGThomas had 10 catches for 129 yards. His 38 catches are the most by an NFL player in his team's first three games to start a season. His 28 catches through two games also were a record.PASSING MONTANARyan's 75-yard scoring pass to Ridley was his 34th career TD pass against the Saints, the most by any quarterback. He surpassed Joe Montana's 33 TD passes against New Orleans. Ryan added three more, leaving his total at 37.DROPS FOR GINNGinn dropped a sideline pass on a second-quarter drive that ended with a 49-yard field goal by Will Lutz bouncing off the left upright and over the cross bar. Later in the quarter, Ginn juggled a pass for an incompletion as he ran out of bounds on the Atlanta sideline. He finished with three catches for 12 yards.UP NEXTSaints: at New York Giants next Sunday.Falcons: Play their third straight home game against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.Saints Hoping to Knock Down the Defending Champion Eagles in Week 11 We’ll continue a series of opponent preview posts for the New Orleans Saints opponents in 2018. Next , we’ll finish that that “bunch of frauds” (s/o to our old pal John Sigler), the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Our friends over at Bleeding Great Nation took some time to give us Saints fans the scoop a the reigning Super Bowl champs.Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty ImagesWeek 11: vs the Philadelphia EaglesNotable free agent additions:WR Mike Wallace, DT Haloti Ngata, LB Corey Nelson, (DE Michael Bennett - acquired through trade)Over/Under:10.5 wins -- Over. The reigning Super Bowl champions won 13 regular season games last year. They did this despite not having Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, and Chris Maragos for all 16 games. The Eagles were able to overcome theses losses due to a combination of elite coaching by Doug Pederson, fantastic play in the trenches, and strong roster depth. The Eagles project to have these same strengths in 2018 so I wouldn’t bet against them.Most exciting rookie:I’m most excited about: TE Dallas Goedert (AKA Philly Goedert). Goedert measures in at 6-4, 260 pounds and boasts plus athleticism. He looked virtually unguardable in the red zone during spring practices this year. The Eagles already have one great tight end in Zach Ertz. The presence of Goedert could give Philly a new dynamic duo for Pederson to unleash on the league.Position battle to keep an eye on:The Eagles need to figure out what to do at nickel cornerback with Patrick Robinson leaving in free agency. It’s possible 2017 second-round pick Sidney Jones steps up in that role. He got the first look during OTAs. De’Vante Bausby, who spent last season on Philadelphia’s practice squad last year , also flashed during spring drills and might be the front-runner right now. Rookie fourth-round pick Avonte Maddox will throw his hat into the ring as well. It’s possible the Eagles could employ a rotation in the slot so there might not even be one true winner from this battle.Biggest storyline heading into training camp:Carson Wentz’s health status is the obvious answer here. The 25-year-old signal caller was having an MVP-caliber season before suffering an ACL tear in early December. From that moment, it was unclear if he’d be ready to start the beginning of the 2018 season. The good news is that Wentz’s recovery progress has been very encouraging. Some in the Eagles organization have described him as “shockingly ahead of schedule.” Wentz was a lot more involved in OTAs and minicamp than most expected him to be. He wasn’t participating in full team 11-on-11 drills, though, so that’s the next hurdle for him to clear. We’ll see how that goes in training camp. There’s definitely optimism that he’ll be ready to start in the NFL kickoff game on September 6.Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:Two of the Eagles’ biggest offseason departures took place in the coaching department. Former offensive coordinator Frank Reich is now the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and former quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is now the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator. It’ll be hard to gauge the impact of losing them until the season starts but this is certainly something to keep an eye on. Notable injuries heading into training camp:The list is so long that it’s easy to forget someone. Wentz is coming off the ACL. Alshon Jeffery isn’t expected to be ready until around Week 1 as he recovers from a torn rotator cuff. Timmy Jernigan had offseason surgery on a herniated disc in his back and will likely end up on the NFI/PUP list. Haloti Ngata missed all of spring practices as he recovers from torn biceps. Super Bowl hero Brandon Graham had offseason surgery on his ankle. Jordan Hicks wasn’t able to fully participate in spring practices. Chris Maragos didn’t practice at all as he recovers from a PCL injury. Besides Jernigan, there’s hope most of these players will be ready by Week 1. But we’ll have to see how they progress during the summer. ***The Saints have a tough stretch with the Falcons, Eagles, Rams, and Vikings within a 5-week period. The Eagles will likely be one of the toughest match-ups all season.So what says you, you unbiased Saints fans? Can the Saints knock down the defending Champs, or will they get humbled in the Dome? Vote in the poll. Explain in the comments. And make sure you also check out, a website for a new book I’m writing currently titled Draft Picks and Dividends: A Fantasy Football Player’s Guide to Understanding the Stock Market.
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