The Saints were cookin’ literally. Finally the New Orleans Saints’ offense woke up on Sunday. The 48 points were what Who Dat Nation has been waiting for. Unfortunately though, the Saints were also eliminated from any chance of winning the NFC South.
Brandin Cooks who has been outspoken a bit lately had a career day. Cooks caught seven passes for 186 yards with seven catches. Drew Brees also bounced back as well. Brees threw six interceptions the last couple of games with no touchdowns. He made up for that that little dry spell with four touchdowns and 389 passing yards.
The Saints would only trail in the first quarter. As a matter of fact, the Cardinals would tie the game twice but never took the lead after. The running game was also extremely effective. Mark Ingram ran for 78 yards on 17 carries. Also, Tim Hightower added 37 yards on 11 carries. The Saints ran a good balance by passing about 66% of the time with 48 throws. Furthermore, the running game was over 34% with 32 total carries with 130 yards and a 4.1 rushing average.
All things considered, the Saints pulled away late 48-34 with some big plays on the defense. Cornerback Ken Crawley made a huge fumble recovery late in the 4th quarter which led to a Tim Hightower touchdown run. The Cardinals made it interesting late, but the Saints recovered the onsides kick to seal the win.
Although the Saints’ defense did give up 34 points, big plays were made when it counted. Equally important, the Saints also dominated the time of possession 37:13 to 22:47.
Above all, the Saints did show up and displayed some true character. Surely, there was a high probability that the Saints would be eliminated by either the Falcons or Bucs winning on Sunday. With this in mind, Payton still had his team focused on the task at hand. The Saints stand at 6-8 and will get a another crack at Tampa Bay at home on Christmas Eve. It will be very interesting to see how the team copes, knowing that the playoffs are nearly impossible.