NFC South: Brees Breaks Record, Carolina Loses Again, Atlanta Keeps Perfect Season
This past Sunday, the NFC South had no shortage of stories. The New Orleans Saints finally broke out of their rut and won their first game of the season. Saints quarterback Drew Brees also broke Johnny Unitas’ record.
The Carolina Panthers endured another loss and the Atlanta Falcons held on to their perfect season by defeating the Washington Redskins.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers stayed out of the headlines with their bye week.
Saints (1-4) defeat San Diego Chargers (3-2) 31-24
In a much-needed win for numerous reasons, the Saints defeated the San Diego Chargers in front of the home crowd and finally captured their first win of the season.
Saints quarterback Brees threw four touchdown passes, breaking the 50-year-old record by Johnny Unitas with his 48th consecutive game of throwing a touchdown pass. As usual, Brees overachieved to set the new record.
Three of Brees’ touchdown passes went to wide receiver Marques Colston, which gave the player his own accolade: a team-record 52 touchdown catches.
Brees said of the game, “I guess you really couldn’t have written a better script for tonight. To break the record, to get the win, and the fashion in which we won — really a complete team effort all the way around.
In attendance for the game was suspended Saints coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis as well as Unitas’ son, Joe.
As for the visiting quarterback Philip Rivers, he had a good game going 27 for 42, 354 yards, two touchdowns and one pick.
The big question from the game is whether the Saints can keep winning. They have a bye week and will then play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Seattle Seahawks (3-2) defeat Panthers (1-4) 16-12
With both teams looking for improved performances from their quarterbacks, on Sunday the Seahawks won this competition as the Panthers’ sophomore quarterback Cam Newton continued slumping.
For the day, Newton was 12 for 29 passing, a career-low 141 yards and four sacks. He was the team’s leading rusher with 7 carries for 42 yards but in the game’s first half, he was 3 for 15 with 40 yards.
The player was complimentary of Seattle’s defense as the team’s sole touchdown came from an interception by the Panther’s cornerback Captain Munnerlyn during the third quarter.
The team did have two other opportunities to take a lead in the fourth quarter but fell short.
For the visiting quarterback, Russell Wilson was 19 for 25, 221 yards, one touchdown, two picks and two sacks.
Where do the Panthers go from here? Perhaps lucky for them, they’ll have their bye week next Sunday.
As for Seattle, they’ll play the New England Patriots. For now, the bettors give the nod to the Patriots at -4 with a 43.5 over/under.
Falcons (5-0) defeat the Washington Redskins (2-3) 24-17
It was a battle until the end but the Falcons’ tight win enabled them to keep their perfect season intact on Sunday.
For the day, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was 34 for 52 passing, 345 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He spread the wealth around with offensive weapons to get the job done.
Running back Michael Turner got the touchdown for the Falcons to take their final, winning lead. He had 18 carries for 67 yards.
Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez had 13 catches for 123 yards and one touchdown while sophomore wide receiver Julio Jones had 10 catches for 94 yards.
As for the Redskins’ rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III left the game at the top of the second half with a probable concussion. Prior to his exit, he was 10 for 15 with 91 yards.
Fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins pinch hit and went 5 for 9, 111 yards, one touchdown, two picks and one sack.
Looking ahead for the Falcons, they will play the Oakland Raiders next Sunday. Will this team cause a first defeat? Expectations are still riding high with 8 to 1 odds for the Falcons to win the Super Bowl.