Brees: Offense, defense, and special teams all making plays

Monday Morning Quarterback: Saints vs. Steelers

Zach Strief
December 24, 2018 - 8:10 am

The New Orleans Saints won a thriller against the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-28.  The Saints improved to 13-2 and clinched the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs.  In the NFC, the road to Atlanta and the Super Bowl goes through New Orleans.

It was a tight game; and, after a late 3rd quarter touchdown by Pittsburgh, New Orleans was down 28-24.  Late in the 4th, the Saints strung together a 10 play, 52 yard drive that ended in a touchdown. 

One of the biggest plays on that possession was a 25 yard pass to Tedd Ginn Jr. on 3rd and 20 to set the Saints up inside the Steelers’ 10 yard line.  Ginn made quite an impact in his first game back after injury, hauling in 5 catches for 74 yards.  Drew Brees could not have been happier for the wide out.

“Unfortunately we got ourselves into that situation; but to overcome it with that and for him to be the guy to make it after being out eight or nine weeks, it’s so good to have him back.  He brings such an element to our offense, an explosive element.”

Brees also enthused over the offensive line.  Terror Armstead returned to the lineup, but he was forced out after an injury.  Ryan Ramcyzk also missed some time with an injury before returning.  All this led to shuffling and switching around, particularly for Andrus Peat.

“I don’t think people realize how hard that is,” Brees explained.  “All of a sudden, a guy goes down; and there’s that little flip flop of Andrus Peat goes from left guard to left tackle and then here comes Will Clapp.  Oh, and then Ryan Ramcyzk [gets injured]; so you have to flip.  Man, you can’t say enough about them.”

It was not just the offense coming through, either.  The Saints defense, though it struggled to contain a high-powered Pittsburgh passing attack, forced two fumbles, sacked Ben Roethlisberger twice and hit him five total times. 

“They’re playing extremely well,” Brees said.  “Look around, just all sides of the ball having to make plays.  Defense, when they need to come up with a big stop, they come up with a big stop.  Ofense, when we need to go down field and get points, we get it.”

Special teams had its moment as well.  While they did allow a blocked field goal, they also stopped a fake punt on the ensuing drive, which gave the offense prime field position.  The offense scored the game-winning touchdown a few minutes later.

Listen to Zach Strief’s entire interview with Drew Brees below.

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