After a disappointing loss to the Lions last week, the Saints defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars who learned minutes before kickoff that they were eliminated from playoff contention. Neither team had much to play for outside of pride, but they both came out and seemingly gave 100%.
The Saints' offense was the most efficient that it's looked in weeks, but special teams remains a concern. New Orleans will need to find a suitable replacement for either Kai Forbath or holder Josh McCown, as Forbath missed one field goal and had another blocked.
However, it's worth focusing on the positive. Delvin Breaux smothered everyone he covered, picking up an interception, and Bobby Richardson picked up a pick of his own off of a deflection. The Saints' offense hasn't turned the ball over on their last 32 possessions, meanwhile, and Drew Brees has looked unconscious throwing the ball since the second half of the Detroit game, fitting throws into triple and double coverage today.
Brandin Cooks continued his huge year, scoring on a 71 yard TD reception and picking up 123 yards on 5 catches.
Blake Bortles proliferated the ball well, hitting 3 different receivers for 4 TD passes (Allen Hurns twice, Allen Robinson and Marquise Lee.
Saints running backs had a strong day, with Tim Hightower picking up 122 yards on an impressive 27 carries, along with Travarius Cadet making his return to New Orleans with a 44 yard TD reception.
The Saints play what some may argue is their biggest game of the season next week (purely for reasons of spite), as they play the Falcons in the hopes that they can be the ones to knock them out of the playoffs for good. The Saints spoiled Atlanta's 6-0 record earlier in the year, which led to Atlanta's downslide. This game was a good indicator that New Orleans is still playing with something to prove, despite being out of playoff contention. Drew Brees and Sean Payton have consistently indicated that they plan on staying in New Orleans, but if they don't it was a good home win to go out on.
Drew Brees (NO) - 25/36, 412 yards (13th 400 yard game), 3 TDs
Blake Bortles (JAX) - 27-35, 368 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs
Tim Hightower (NO) - 27 rush, 122 yards, 2 TDs
Denard Robinson (JAX) - 5 rush, 31 yards
Allen Robinson (JAX) - 6 rec, 151 yards, 1 TD
Brandin Cooks (NO) - 5 rec, 123 yards, 1 TD
Allen Hurns (JAX) - 8 rec, 106 yards
Willie Snead (NO) - 4 rec, 75 yards