Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer
The New Orlans Saints did more to improve baseball ratings Sunday night than any player in the World Series. The Saints unleashed the most severe beating any team in their history has delivered and had America changing the channel to the Fall Classic.
The Saints turned the expected into the magnificent. They scored on nine straight possessions and made the Indianapolis 30th ranked offense look even more pathetic.
Pete Carmichael took over play calling for Sean Payton but a better description would be he was just deciding who would score touchdowns. The answer was everybody. Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham grabbed two each from Drew Brees.
The stat sheet said Brees was 31-35 but I swear I can't remember a ball hitting the ground. To think I changed my flight to come in for the Lions game because I thought, 'If Peyton Manning isn't playing I'd rather see the Detroit game than a 35-10 snooze fest.' I only missed the greatest offensive show in Saints history.
The offense was an evenly balanced destructive force; 35 passes for 231 yards and 38 rushes for 236 yards. Only a bruised heel kept Mark Ingram from a 100 yard rushing night. Ingram's injury was the only bad news from the game as he was really looking comfortable and running like he did at Alabama.
Drew Brees has never had an unstoppable force like Jimmy Graham since he's been in New Orleans. Teams have no answer for him. He only caught six passes for two scores but I'm guessing if the Saints wanted to he could have had twice those numbers. Graham is on pace to have the greatest season a tight end has ever had in NFL history. This offense is scary good.
On Friday I said if the Saints were Super Bowl worthy the defense had to step up against the scoring challenged Colts and Rams. The defense limited the Colts to 252 yards on 46 plays. The Colts did have two long runs but once a score is 31-0 all stats from the losing team are meaningless. It's fair to say the Saints defense is different at home. Gregg Williams' blitzes and a raucous crowd is a hard combo for an opposing team. I'm still not sure the defense is good but last night showed me they probably aren't terrible.
The Colts aren't the same team without Manning but they still have some very good receivers in Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and Pierre Garcon. The Saints held them to 97 yards passing in a blowout win where in theory the Colts should have had a ton of worthless passing yards. By the way is Indy coach Jim Caldwell a zombie? Jim, its ok to show an emotion when you are losing 62-7.
The Saints are 5-2 and have the winless Rams on deck. They should be in position in the second half of 2011 to be the #2 seed in the NFC behind Green Bay.
You know all those 'Golden Age of whatever' you hear old people talking about? The Saints and LSU football are in one. They won by a combined 107-17 this weekend. For the first time both have a real shot to win a title in the same season. The Saints biggest game is sometime in the future while in two weeks LSU plays the biggest game in school history. It's bigger than the two national title games because LSU didn't face an SEC rival led by an ex-tiger coach in those games.
The only question about the 2011 LSU Tigers is how this sentence will be finished, 'The 2011 Tigers were the best team in LSU history...'
The choices are:
- The 2011 Tigers were the best team in LSU history and won a national title
- The 2011 Tigers were the best team in LSU history but lost to eventual national champion Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The way college football is set up these are the only possible options worth mentioning. Get ready for Sabangedon: The Brawl for it All! Enjoy the Bama hype like you enjoyed last night. Things won't be like 2011 Louisiana football for a long time.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at email@example.com, find him on facebook, follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/MilneMalbrough or download his podcast at Itunes.