Brees, Saints singe sinking Eagles, 48-7
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees grinned, paused as if searching for the right words, and even let out the beginnings of a laugh.
The Saints have made 40-point outings look routine lately, and the record-setting quarterback is trying to enjoy it without showing a hint of complacency.
“It’s a lot of points, but we have a high standard for ourselves,” Brees said. “You’re still not satisfied because you know you could have done a little bit better — but the end result is good.”
Brees passed for 363 yards and four touchdowns, and the Saints won their ninth straight with a 48-7 demolition of Philadelphia on Sunday that marked the Eagles’ worst loss by far since they won last season’s Super Bowl.
In fact, it was the worst loss by a reigning Super Bowl champion.
“I haven’t gotten my (butt) kicked like that in a long time,” Eagles defensive end Chris Long said.
Brees completed 22 of 30 passes and did not turn over the ball, giving him 25 TD passes and only one interception this season. Brees’ fourth touchdown seemed to encapsulate New Orleans’ audacious approach to the game. He hit running back Alvin Kamara in stride down the right sideline for a 37 yards on a fourth-and-7 play that gave the Saints (9-1) a 45-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“It’s hard to stop us,” Kamara said.
Receiver Michael Thomas said the Eagles were “just in the way, next team up. We just had to do what we had to do, regardless.”
Brees’ other touchdown passes went for 3 yards to Austin Carr, 15 yards to rookie Tre’Quan Smith and 23 yards to Thomas. Smith finished with 10 catches for 157 yards, while Thomas’ four catches for 92 yards made him the first receiver in Saints history to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first three seasons.
Mark Ingram rushed 16 times for 103 yards, including touchdowns of 14 yards and 1 yard. Kamara added 71 yards to help New Orleans finish with 546 total yards and score at least 40 for the sixth time this season.
Meanwhile, New Orleans’ defense produced a second straight dominant showing after largely stifling Cincinnati the previous week.
The Saints now have outscored their past two opponents 99-21 combined, is not easy to do in a league known for competitive balance.
“It blows my mind, too, trust me,” said Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, who had one of three sacks on Carson Wentz. “That just speaks volumes not only to the type of talent we have on this team but how locked in everybody is. I think everybody knows how special we can be and everyone knows the end goal. If everybody here isn’t thinking Super Bowl then they’re in the wrong locker room.”
Wentz was intercepted three times — once by Marshon Lattimore and twice by Chris Banjo — and finished with 156 yards on 19-of-33 passing.
Time will tell if the lopsided loss marked the beginning of the end of the Eagles’ title defense. Philadelphia (4-6) remained two games behind Washington (6-4) for first place in the NFC East, but more injuries befell its already depleted lineup. The Eagles offered virtually no resistance to New Orleans and looked thoroughly outclassed by the surging Saints.
Rookie running back Josh Adams rushed for a 28-yard TD that pulled the Eagles within 17-7 in the second quarter, but the Saints responded with a Smith’s TD on which the receiver held onto a hard throw over the middle while being sandwiched by two defenders. That made it 24-7 at halftime and the game was not competitive after that.
“The product we’re putting out there is not up to our standards,” Wentz said. “I’m not playing up to my standards, but we know the talent we have.”
Twice this season, Brees has thrown for four TDs in a game without an interception, giving him an NFL-record 23 such performances in his career. His latest put him one ahead of New England’s Tom Brady.
Eagles: Center Jason Kelce hurt his left elbow in the first quarter and was replaced by Stefen Wisniewski. Safety Avonte Maddox left with a knee injury on New Orleans’ second possession. Defensive back Rasul Douglas had to be helped off the field with a left leg injury in the third quarter. Long snapper Rick Lovato was taken from the game to be evaluated for a concussion.
Saints: Right guard Larry Warford left to be evaluated for a concussion in the third quarter and was replaced by Cameron Tom.
Eagles: Host the New York Giants on Sunday.
Saints: Host Atlanta on Thursday night.