Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
METAIRIE, La. – With a few ticks more than four minutes left to play and the Saints down a point in New Orleans’ 40-33 Sunday win over Houston, coach Sean Payton did the unthinkable for a revolutionary offensive play-caller.
He let go of his offense, ceding power to quarterback Drew Brees.
Oh yeah, and the ball was at New Orleans’ 7-yard line.
“It really shifted when that happened, he got red hot and he was outstanding and had the protections going the right way,” Payton said a day later.
Brees drove the Saints 93 yards in 1 minute, 31 seconds, using just eight plays and a penalty to traverse nearly the entire length of the field in a must-score situation.
He was 4-for-7 on the drive for 67 yards.
More importantly, when it mattered most, he took the ball out of his hands and handed off to running back Mark Ingram, who darted through the line for the game-winning 13-yard touchdown.
“They pressured us a couple times, he picked it up and the line picked it up,” Payton said. “When you get into those wide open sets, it’s a little harder to disguise who’s coming but you still have to block them. And then he did a great job of getting the ball in the hands of the guys who were making plays and you saw Jimmy Graham, you saw Lance Moore quite a bit, Darren Sproles, Robert Meachem on the out cut.”
The Saints actually had gone with the no huddle hurry-up offense on the previous series. That, too, resulted in a touchdown, that one a 16-yarder to Moore.
Both were purely Brees running the show from the field.