New Orleans Saints defeat New England Patriots, 38-17

With 17 players listed as questionable on their injury report entering last night’s game against the Saints, the Patriots arrived at the Superdome with an uncertain lineup.

The ambiguity was most acute along the offensive line, with the status of Matt Light, Stephen Neal, and Sebastian Vollmer all in question.

They ended up regaining left tackle Light, but were without their impressive rookie replacement Vollmer. Light was active for the first time since Week 5, when he...

It starts on the field, obviously. But the way Drew Brees carries himself, the way he says all the right things -- even the way he combs his hair -- gives Saints fans something to be proud of.

He's a deserving poster boy for the success story of the 2009 NFL season.

"We played a tremendous football team tonight," said Brees. "They know how to win. They do things the right way. Anytime you can win and win that way it builds confidence for you."

On the field, of cou...

If the Patriots are an elite NFL team, one capable of challenging for the Super Bowl, the evidence will have to arrive in the next month. As of this morning, there is none. They have yet to win at an opponent’s home stadium, yet to beat a team that would qualify for the playoffs if they began today, and yet to prove their defense is something more than papier-mache when truly tested.

The Patriots received their opportunity to change all of that last night, and instead ...

Brees unmatched this night
Chasing perfection, Saints’ QB dazzles

By William Kalec, Globe Correspondent | December 1, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - The NFL’s new face of possible perfection has a birthmark on his right cheek, perhaps appropriate in a town where blemishes are often dismissed as charm.

Predictably, Drew Brees was guarded all week when asked about the matchup with Tom Brady, choosing to direct attention away from the two headliners behind center. Despite the...

NEW ORLEANS - Earlier this season, Patriots rookie quarterback Brian Hoyer took snaps in the snow as the Patriots were enjoying a 50-point lead against Tennessee at Gillette Stadium.

Last night, he stepped on the field with the Patriots facing a 21-point deficit with 5:17 left in the fourth quarter against the Saints at the Superdome. Most of the starters were out of the game and left to stare at the 38-17 score.

It was a different kind of experience for Hoyer and th...

The outcome no longer in question, Tom Brady knelt on both knees with his facemask in the turf, a beaten man. He had just thrown his second interception of the quarter, a desperate throw, defenders draped all over him. Brady, for so long an embodiment of poise, looked ready to lift himself up. Then he smashed his head to the ground.

Hours earlier, he had eased any concerns about an injured finger while the Patriots took a commanding lead. Now, he had to consider the fat...

NEW ORLEANS - So we thought the Patriots were going to come in here and beat these guys?

Neaux way.

Bill Belichick wasn’t kidding. The Saints are good. The offense is for real, the defense is for real, and the Superdome is most definitely for real. If this was supposed to be the big test, the obvious conclusion is that the New Orleans Saints are going to get an A, maybe even an A-plus for their regular-season work. With this 38-17 victory over a team many thought wou...