Cool As A Winter Brees
Even after costly, Brett Favre like mistakes, Drew Brees never wavered. Saints offensive tackle Jon Stincomb noted that no one is as mentally tough as his quarterback. Brees showed why in the Saints 17-14 victory over the Falcons Monday night. As John DeShazier of the Times Picayune put it, Drew Brees didn't flinch because Drew Brees doesn't flinch.
In the fourth quarter of a game his team led 10-7, on first-and-10 from the Saints' 33-yard line, Brees refused to eat the ball while under heavy pressure from Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux. Rather, while being tackled, Brees tried a backhand flip that only he and Favre might've attempted under the circumstances, with a deflating result.
Defensive end Chauncey Davis intercepted the gift -- he almost had no choice, since the ball was flipped directly to him -- and jogged in for a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 14-10 Falcons' lead with 14:14 left.
The next Saints' possession ended only slightly better; after a false start penalty on left tackle Jermon Bushrod erased a 33-yard touchdown pass, Brees saw his third-down pass tipped and intercepted by defensive end John Abraham at the Falcons' 41-yard line. And if Brees hadn't dragged him down after a 6-yard return, he probably would've scored, too.
But after the Saints' defense did its job again -- and it was nothing short of magnificent while holding the Falcons to one offensive touchdown, 14 first downs and 215 yards -- Brees and the offense matched that magnificence for the one time they needed to.
He completed seven passes to five receivers for 72 of the 90 yards on the scoring drive, the last six on a slant to Graham.
"I think we had a very good plan in terms of getting pressure on the quarterback," Falcons Coach Mike Smith said. "It was a well-designed game plan. We just did not always finish the plays. You can see why Drew Brees is a Pro Bowl player."
You can see why the Saints believe in him the way they do, the way they should.
All the great ones make costly mistakes from time to time. What seperates great from good is the ability to overcome the costly errors, and lead your team to victory. Brees' masterful 90 yard, game winning drive, which took 7:11 off the clock, was nothing short of magnificent.