Saints QB Drew Brees looked “razor-sharp” in his return to the field on Saturday night, appearing to be in mid-season form as the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 23-17 . Brees completed 9 of 15 passes for 128 yards, connecting with FB Austin Johnson on a 3 yard TD and then once again on the following drive to WR Marques Colston for a 13 yard TD, as the Saints ran their pre-season record to 3-0. RB Mark Ingram added 46 yards rushing on 8 carries, as the Saints starters outgained the Colts starters by a total of 288-132 yards in the first half.
Andrew Luck was 10 of 18 for 1o3 yards with a TD pass to TE Coby Fleener, along with one interception (by Saints safety Kenny Vaccarro) in nearly three quarters of action for Indianapolis. The Colts made it close near the end, but a fumbled punt return attempt by Colts WR Josh Lenz essentially killed the Colts’ chances at a 4th quarter comeback – giving the Saints great field position deep in Colts territory, which the Saints converted into a 45 yd. Derek Dimke field goal.
Brees looked particularly great, looking as if he hadn’t missed a single day of practice after sitting the past few weeks of live drills at Training Camp in West Virginia (before recently shifting back home to New Orleans) with a strained oblique muscle. Brees appeared to show no signs of any ill-effects from that injury, as he deftly commanded the Saints offense on an impressive opening drive of 80 yards on 13 plays.
It certainly was a most impressive performance by the Saints against a very good Colts team; who are themselves also considered to be top Super Bowl contenders from the AFC. In a first half in which the Saints were nearly DOMINANT save for the Luck TD pass to Fleener (aided by two back-to-back defensive penalties against Saints DE Akiem Hicks), fans from the Who Dat Nation have to be very pleased with Saturday night’s performance.
Brees also ran 10 yards for a first down on a third-and-8 play — probably not the wisest decision in what is only just a Pre-Season game, but certainly it’s further evidence that Brees is feeling healthy and is ready to roll for what the Saints hope is a very successful 2014 Season, which begins on September 7th at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta against the Falcons.