Two seasons ago, Brees and Eli Manning set
a league record by combining to throw for 13 touchdowns in a wild 52-49 Saints victory in the Superdome. For Eli Manning, who was benched Sunday in Oakland, it might feel like that shootout unfolded 10 years ago. Without warning, things can change dramatically in the NFL. Brees is smart enough to know that. He's also smart enough to survey the NFC side of the draw in the coming playoffs and see opposing quarterbacks who could be at a major disadvantage.
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Carson Wentz of Philadelphia, Case Keenum of Minnesota and Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams have never started a playoff game, while Brees has started 11. If presented with those facts, Brees would likely react the way he did when reminded Sunday that he had moved into the No. 2 spot on the all-time completions list."You play long enough," Brees said, "then I guess those things happen. It just makes me think of all the guys that have caught the balls and all of those guys blocking."
Only now is the time to think of the one guy who does the throwing. The incomparable No. 9, rapidly approaching birthday No. 39. Drew Brees has a hell of a team this year, and a hell of a chance to grab that second Super Bowl ring before it's too late.
The New England Patriots are the holiday earworm of the NFL, and especially of the Buffalo Bills. It's December, and Tom Brady's bunch has won eight games in a row -- the latest a routine 23-3 dismantling of their perennial punching bags here in Western New York on Sunday. New England is now 30-5 against Buffalo over the past 18 seasons -- http://www.titansauthenticsofficial.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_DERRICK_MORGAN_JERSEY.html a fact of which first-year Bills coach Sean McDermott was made well aware Nashville Predators Youth jersey by local media all week. He didn't need reminding.
"They're a very good team," McDermott said when it was over. "I was mentioning to their coaches before the game, I felt like this is one of the strongest teams I've seen from them."
Which is saying something, of course. That's not like buttonholing the Los Angeles Rams' coaching staff Jacquies Smith Womens Jersey and telling them this is their strongest team in a while. The Patriots have won 10 or more games in each of the past 15 seasons. If you're an especially good Patriots team, you have a chance to be one of the great teams of all time.
Time will obviously tell on that, but to watch the 2017 Patriots is to see something special -- and not just on Brady's side of the ball. Yeah, there he was hitting Rob Gronkowski nine times for 147 yards while the Pats rolled up 191 rushing yards on the Bills. But it's the other side of the ball that's really making people stand up and pay attention to this New England team. For whatever reason, even as it continues to lose key player after key player on defense, this Patriots team doesn't give up many points.
"It's a cliché, that whole 'next man up' thing, it really is, but it's so true here," Patriots safety Duron Harmon said. "[Coach Bill] Belichick and the guys just do such a good job of preparing everybody."
The Pats were prepared Sunday, but at the start, it looked as if it might not matter. Tyrod Taylor and the Bills bled more than seven minutes off the clock while marching the ball all the way to the New England 6-yard line on their opening drive. Things were going exactly to Buffalo's preferred script Kevin White Womens Jersey -- run the ball, eat up the clock, keep Brady on the sideline -- until Taylor threw an interception at the goal line, and that was that.
Oh, sure, it took a little while. The Patriots' offense sputtered a bit through the first half, mustering only three field goals and giving rise to a Brady tantrum directed at offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. New England led 9-3 at the half and things were still theoretically in doubt -- as much as a Patriots-Bills contest can be.
But Buffalo had bigger problems. Taylor sustained a knee injury on the opening drive of the game, and while he stuck it out into the fourth quarter, it was bad enough that he couldn't finish the game. Neither, of course, could a porous Bills run defense that has allowed a league-worst average of 177 rushing yards per game over the http://www.officialredsstore.com/authentic-14-pete-rose-jersey.html past five weeks. The Patriots methodically drove their way to two Rex Burkhead touchdowns in the third quarter, killing any remaining suspense, while the defense pitched a second-half shutout.
"After that first drive, things settled down," Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. "For us, it's about understanding what kind of game it is. So that first drive gives you an idea what you're up against. Getting a turnover down in the red area gave us some momentum."