The New Orleans Saints have won games in just about every way imaginable during the 13-year tenure of coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees.
And they did it again Monday night, beating the Carolina Panthers 12-9 in a game that marked the first time the Saints had scored 12 points and won in the Payton-Brees era.
It was the 117th win for Payton and Brees as coach and quarterback of the Saints, moving them into second place all-time in regular season wins by a coach-quarterback duo.
— Sporting News NFL (@sn_nfl) December 18, 2018
They surpassed the Miami Dolphins duo of Don Shula and Dan Marino and now trail only the New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, who have won 205 games together — and counting.
Payton and Brees joined the Saints together in the same year, 2006. Since then, they have won 117 games together and have made the playoffs seven times, including this year. They won the Super Bowl in 2009.
Payton did miss the entire 2012 season due to the “Bountygate scandal,” so Brees won seven more Saints games without him.
“That’s what the great teams find a way to do … just making the plays you need to make to win the game,” Brees said, reported The New Orleans Times-Picayune. “There’s a lot to be said for that.”
“Listen, these last two weeks we’ve had to come back and win in the fourth quarter. The great teams find a way. They believe. They feel like we’re all gonna step up, we’re gonna do this, somebody’s gonna make a play,” Brees added.
The 12-9 win over the Panthers was not the greatest game for Brees, who is considered a top MVP candidate, along with the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
Brees threw no touchdown passes for only the second time this year, and he also threw a rare “pick-two” — an interception by the Panthers’ Donte Jackson on a two-point conversion returned 100 yards for two points by the Panthers.
He was 23 of 35 for 203 yards with no touchdowns and one interception for a quarterback rating of 69.1 percent. That was his lowest passer rating in two years.
Payton and Brees will have a tough game next Sunday in their quest for win No. 118 when they face the 8-5-1 Pittsburgh Steelers at home.
Incidentally, the Steelers’ coach-quarterback duo of Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger is right behind Brees and Payton at 114 wins together.
Sean Payton and Drew Brees have claimed sole possession of 2nd place on the NFL’s all-time leaderboard for wins by a HC-QB combo, but don’t expect them—or anyone, really—to overtake Bill Belichick and Tom Brady any time soon…#Saints #Patriots pic.twitter.com/DiniPqMAUN
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) December 18, 2018
The Saints currently hold the best record in the NFL at 12-2, and a win over the Steelers would clinch a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.
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