Brees leads 17-point rally as Saints win ‘wild one’

  • Covered Saints for eight years at New Orleans Times-Picayune
  • Previously covered LSU football, San Francisco 49ers
  • Iowa native and University of Iowa graduate

NEW ORLEANS — Chalk up another rare milestone for Drew Brees on Monday Night Football.

Brees and the New Orleans Saints rallied from a 20-3 deficit on Monday night to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 30-27 in overtime — just the second time in Brees’ career that he had rallied from a 17-point or greater deficit.

Brees was previously 1-48 in such situations, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The other win? A thrilling 46-34 victory at Miami in 2009 during the Saints’ Super Bowl season, in which New Orleans trailed by 21.

“Yeah, this was a wild one,” Brees, 41, said on the ESPN broadcast after finishing with 325 yards, a touchdown pass and a TD run. “Listen, we did not play very well for the first half of this football game, obviously. … We were able to go and get some points before the half. But really I think at halftime it was just, ‘Guys, come out and execute, do the things that win football games, not the things that get you beat.'”

Now, no one is exactly suggesting that these Saints (3-2) look ready to make another Super Bowl run just yet after an ugly start to this season and an even uglier start to Monday night’s game, which included way too many defensive breakdowns.

But they also overcame a 14-0 deficit in Detroit last week. And now they get a chance at a much-needed reboot after the Week 6 bye, which should include the return of star wide receiver Michael Thomas.

Thomas missed three games with an ankle injury before being benched on Friday for throwing a punch at a teammate in practice.

Brees and the Saints’ offense were off to a lackluster start Monday night before they finally caught fire during a two-minute touchdown drill before halftime.

Brees started the game 7-of-15 passing for 43 yards with an interception before his strong finish. His 41-yard TD pass to tight end Jared Cook included the second-most air yards of any of his throws this season. He also led the Saints downfield for kicker Wil Lutz’s 36-yard field goal to start overtime before the Saints’ defense came up with a game-winning stop.

Brees has had some memorable Monday Night Football performances, including games in which he set the NFL career passing yardage record, the NFL career TD pass record, the NFL single-season passing yardage record and the NFL single-game completion percentage record.

Brees has a total of 18 300-yard passing games and six games with at least four touchdown passes on Monday nights — both the most in league history.

New Orleans’ comeback spoiled a historic Monday night performance for Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, who became the first rookie to throw four TD passes on Monday Night Football.

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