With the win, the Saints have now won eight games in a row, which is the longest active streak in the NFL right now. Although New Orleans has had some big wins during their streak, this one might have been the most impressive, and that's because it came on the road against an AFC playoff contender in a situation that had all the makings of a trap game.
If we've learned one thing about the Saints during this streak, it's that their offense is borderline unstoppable. If you try to take away one weapon, they have three other weapons to replace it, and the worst part for opposing defenses is that Drew Brees knows how to use every weapon in his arsenal as he proved against the Bengals.
In the first half alone, Brees toyed with the Bengals defense as he led the Saints to a touchdown on all five of their first half possessions. On the Saints' first score of the game, Brees threw a perfect seven-yard strike to Michael Thomas, who was actually being covered pretty well by Cincinnati's William Jackson. Unfortunately, good coverage means nothing when you're playing the Saints.
Of course, Brees doesn't only throw touchdowns to his receivers, he also loves to throw passes to his running backs, and he did a lot of that against the Bengals. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined for 104 receiving yards against Cincinnati, with 28 of those coming on this touchdown catch by Ingram.
You know what else Brees did in the first half? He showed off his skills in the two-minute drill. After Marcus Williams picked off Andy Dalton to set up New Orleans with the ball at the Bengals' 18-yard line with eight seconds left to play in the half, Brees went to work and it only took him one play to make the Bengals pay.
It's a surprise the Bengals' defense even showed up for the second half after the way Brees carved them up during the game's first two quarters. Brees was nearly perfect in the first half, going 18 of 20 for 214 yards and three touchdowns (Brees ended up throwing for 265 yards total). With those three touchdown passes, Brees now has 508 for his career, moving him past Brett Favre for the second most all-time.
Brees probably could have thrown 508 touchdowns against the Bengals' defense if the Saints didn't take their foot off the gas in the second half. With the Saints up 48-7, coach Sean Payton decided to let Teddy Bridgewater play the fourth quarter.
The Saints are officially the scariest team in the league right now and we're giving them an A+ for their dominating win over the Bengals, and you know what, we're also going to give the scoreboard operator an A+ too.
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New Orleans 51-14 over Cincinnati
It's hard to say what was more impressive in this game: a Saints defense that absolutely shut down the Bengals, or a New Orleans offense that tied the team's franchise record for points in a road game. Drew Brees threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Saints to a score during all eight possessions he was on the field (six touchdowns, two field goals). Alvin Kamara (two rushing touchdowns) and Mark Ingram (104 rushing yards, 54 receiving yards) also went off with both back totaling more than 100 yards. Defensively, the Saints harassed Andy Dalton: They sacked him four times and forced the Bengals quarterback into throwing two interceptions.
We're putting as much effort into writing this grade as the Bengals did into this game, which is why they're only getting this sentence.
Chicago 34-22 over Detroit
After letting Matthew Stafford get sacked 10 times in Week 9, things didn't get much better for the Lions offensive line in Chicago. For the second week in a row, Stafford got destroyed as the Bears sacked him six times. Things got so bad for Stafford in this game that it actually looked like he was expecting to get sacked every time he touched the ball.
The Bears' ground game was slowed to a screeching halt by the Lions, but that didn't matter because Mitchell Trubisky was on fire. Trubisky threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns in a game where the Bears rolled out to a 26-0 lead. Allen Robinson had his biggest day with the Bears as the former Jaguars receiver caught six passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. The yardage total was more than Robinson had in his past three games combined (91) with the Bears. Rookie wide receiver Anthony Miller also exploded, going off for 122 yards and a touchdown. The minus in this A- is for Cody Parkey, who might have had the worst luck of any kicker in NFL history. Parkey missed two extra points and two field goals, but the twist here is that all four kicks hit the upright and missed.
Washington 16-3 over Tampa Bay
The Redskins were beat up with multiple injuries going into this game, but that didn't stop them from grinding out an ugly win. The Redskins basically perfected the "bend but don't break" defense in this game. On one hand, they allowed the Bucs to get in the red zone five times, but on the other hand, they held Tampa to zero touchdowns. On a day where Tampa missed two field goals, Dustin Hopkins came up big for the Redskins by scoring 10 of their 16 points.
In what might go down as the weirdest offensive day in NFL history, the Buccaneers totaled 501 yards, but scored just three points. It was the fewest points ever scored in an NFL game by a team that put up more than 500 yards of offense. If you're wondering how that stat line could possibly happen, here's how: The Buccaneers drove inside of Washington's 30-yard line a total of six times and came away with just one field goal. The other five possessions ended with a two fumbles, an interception and two missed field goals.
Tennessee 34-10 over New England
The Patriots failed in every phase of the game in this loss with an ugly showing by their offense, their defense and even their special teams. The return of Sony Michel (11 carries, 31 yards) did nothing to spark a Patriots ground game that totaled only 40 yards. Defensively, the Patriots had zero answers for a Titans offense that scored on its first three possessions. The 24-point margin makes this game tied for the second biggest loss that the Patriots have been handed since 2003 in a game where Tom Brady starts.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel spent eight seasons playing for the Patriots and it showed, because he definitely knew how to attack them. The Titans pounded the ball in this game with 36 rushing attempts that led to 150 yards. When Tennessee can move the ball on the ground, that opens things up for Marcus Mariota. Mariota threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns and is now 11-0 in his career when the Titans tally 35 or more carries in a game. Most of Mariota's yards went to Corey Davis, who caught seven passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, the Titans smothered Tom Brady, sacking him three times and keeping him under constant pressure.
Kansas City 26-14 over Arizona
Someone in Arizona finally got the memo that David Johnson needs to be getting the ball more. In his biggest game of the season, Johnson touched the ball 28 times and totaled 183 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Chandler Jones racked up two of Arizona's five sacks as the Cardinals held Patrick Mahomes to his lowest passing total of the season (249 yards).
For the first time all season, the Chiefs defense might have outshined their offense. Not only did the Chiefs sack Josh Rosen five times -- with two of those coming from Chris Jones -- but they also picked him off twice, which set up one of Kansas City's three touchdowns. Although the Chiefs offense was held in check for most of the game, Tyreek Hill still managed to put up some huge numbers with 137 total yards (117 receiving yards, 20 rushing yards) and two receiving touchdowns.
Buffalo 41-10 over New York Jets
It looks like all the Bills needed to fix their offensive problems was to play a journeyman quarterback who hadn't started a game in two years. Playing in his first game since 2016, Matt Barkley shredded the Jets defense for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Although he's been on the team for less than two weeks, that was apparently enough time for Barkley to develop some serious chemistry with Robert Foster (three catches, 105 yards) and Zay Jones (eight catches, 93 yards, one touchdown). Barkley got some serious help from a Bills rushing attack that went over 200 yards (212) and a Bills defense that held their opponent under 200 yards (199) for the second straight week, marking the first time since 1999 that a Bills defense has pulled that off.
This game was a disaster from start to finish for the Jets. For one, their offense went three-and-out on each of the team's first four possessions. After getting their first first down of the game midway through the second quarter, Josh McCown celebrated by throwing an interception a few plays later. McCown only threw for 135 yards and he was sacked three times. The 199 total yards by the Jets marked the first time since 2013 that they were held under 200 yards in a home game.
Cleveland 28-16 over Atlanta
Forget their red zone offense, the Falcons need to work on their offensive play-calling from the 1-yard line. The Falcons basically lost this game early in the fourth quarter when they had three chances to punch the ball in the end zone from the 1-yard line. Atlanta failed on all three attempts and came way with zero points. The Falcons offense was basically a disaster the entire second half with two turnovers, two punts and that failed conversion from the 1-yard line. Defensively, the Falcons surrendered a total of 211 yards rushing, which is the most the team has given up in a game since 2014.
If we were regrading the Browns' 2018 draft right now, we'd give it an A+ after the way their rookies played against the Falcons. Nick Chubb went off for 176 yards, including a 92-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that set the franchise record for longest scoring run. Chubb also caught three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. The top pick in the NFL Draft also had a big day with Baker Mayfield completing 17 of 20 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns. Mayfield completed his first 13 passes and didn't throw an incompletion until the second half. It's almost like Todd Haley was holding the Browns' offense back because the unit has looked much better since he was fired.
Indianapolis 29-26 over Jacksonville
After carrying the Jaguars through the 2017 season, it's starting to look like the Jags defense is now the weak link on this team. Despite 320 yards and two touchdowns from Blake Bortles and a huge game from Leonard Fournette (109 yards, two touchdowns), the Jags lost this one because their defense couldn't stop the Colts. Indy scored a touchdown on four of their first five possessions as the Jags quickly fell behind 29-13. The Jags really only made one offensive mistake in the game and that came late in the fourth quarter when Rashad Greene lost a fumble as Jacksonville was driving to tie the game or even take the lead.
The Colts' decision to sign Eric Ebron is starting to look like one of the most underrated moves of the 2018 offseason. The former first-round pick, who only scored 11 touchdowns in four total seasons with the Lions, now has 10 touchdowns with the Colts following a three-score game against Jacksonville. Not only did Ebron catch two touchdown passes, but he also ran in another one. Andrew Luck's hot streak continued as he threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns. The touchdown total means that Luck is just the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for three touchdowns or more in six consecutive games.
Los Angeles Chargers 20-6 over Oakland
It's a good thing Melvin Gordon is healthy, because he basically carried the Chargers offense in Oakland. Playing in just his second game since Week 7, Gordon totaled 165 yards in a performance that included 93 yards on the ground and 72 yards receiving along with a touchdown catch. Defensively, Isaac Rochelle tallied 1.5 of the Chargers' four sacks in the game. The Chargers defense wasn't perfect in this game, but they did keep the Raiders out of the end zone, marking the first time this season the Chargers have held their opponent without a touchdown.
The Raiders biggest issue on Sunday was that their offense completely fell apart whenever they drove deep inside Chargers territory. The Raiders got inside of the L.A.'s 25-yard line a total of four times in this game and disaster pretty much struck every time as Oakland came away with just three total points on the four possessions. One Raiders drive ended when the team failed on a fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. Another drive ended because Derek Carr lost a fumble at the Chargers 21-yard line, and the third drive ended because Carr made a horrible decision to THROW AWAY a pass on a fourth down play from the Chargers 19-yard line. The Raiders play in the red zone was so bad it basically epitomized their entire nightmarish season.
Green Bay 31-12 over Miami
The Dolphins special teams came through big time in Green Bay with a blocked punt and a fake punt that went for a fourth down. Unfortunately for Miami, they just weren't as good in the other two phases of the game. The offense turned the ball over twice, including a Brock Osweiler interception in the third quarter that set the Packers up with an easy touchdown. As for the Dolphins defense, they struggled in the red zone: The Packers made four trips to that part of the field and scored a touchdown on four possessions. The Dolphins had gone into Sunday's game with the NFL's ninth-best red zone defense.
The most important Aaron on the field for the Packers offense wasn't Aaron Rodgers in this game, but running back Aaron Jones. Jones steamrolled the Dolphins defense for 145 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries. The Packers defense suffocated Brock Osweiler with six different players picking up a sack. The defense also forced two turnovers, including a fumble recovery on Miami's opening possession that came after the Dolphins had driven down to Green Bay's 14-yard line. The Packers have been unbeatable at Lambeau Field this year. Including the win over the Dolphins, the Packers are now 4-0-1 on the season in home games.
Los Angeles Rams 36-31 over Seahawks
With 108 yards on the ground, Seahawks rookie Rashad Penny spearheaded a Seattle rushing attack that steamrolled the Rams for 273 yards, and surprisingly, Seattle lost. We say surprisingly because the loss in L.A. marked the first time in franchise history that the Seahawks lost a game where they rushed for more than 250 yards. Before Sunday, they had been 12-0 when hitting that mark. The Seahawks only made one big mistake in this game and that came when Russell Wilson lost a fumble in the fourth quarter. The turnover led to a Rams touchdown that gave L.A. a 36-24 lead and basically iced the game.
Aaron Donald continues to be an unblockable machine. The defensive lineman racked up 2.5 of his team's four sacks as the Rams put constant pressure on Russell Wilson for the better part of four quarters. Donald wasn't the only star who came through for the Rams: Jared Goff (318 yards, two touchdowns), Todd Gurley (160 total yards, one rushing touchdown) and Brandin Cooks (109 total yards, one rushing touchdown) all had big games on offense.
Dallas 27-20 over Philadelphia
It looks like the Cowboys have figured out the secret to beating the Eagles: feed Ezekiel Elliott early and often. Not only did Elliott carry the ball 19 times for 151 yards and a touchdown, but he also added six catches for 36 yards and another touchdown. Elliott has now racked up at least 140 scrimmage yards in every game he's ever played against the Eagles, and the Cowboys are undefeated (3-0) against Philly when Elliott is on the field. The Cowboys also got a huge game from rookie Leighton Vander Esch. Playing in place of the injured Sean Lee, Vander Esch led the team in tackles and saved the game with a shoestring tackle of Corey Clement on a third-and-2 in the fourth quarter. Jason Garrett also showed off his bold side by calling for a fake punt on a Cowboys drive that eventually ended in a field goal.
Zach Ertz had a huge night (14 catches, 145 yards, two touchdowns), but it wasn't enough for an Eagles offense that got off to a slow start with two punts and an interception on their first three drives. In the first half alone, Philly totaled just 132 yards of offense. The Eagles also gave up on their ground game (44 passes vs. 16 runs) and they couldn't come up with any big plays when they needed them. On the defensive side of things, Philly had no answer for Ezekiel Elliott, who blew threw them for 151 yards on the ground.
New York Giants 27-23 over San Francisco
Eli Manning is still struggling, but for one night, he mustered just enough magic to lead the Giants to the win. On a night where he threw for 188 yards and three touchdowns, Manning was at his best on the Giants' final drive. Of that 188-yard total, 69 of those yards came on a game-winning drive that ended with Manning throwing a 3-yard TD pass to Sterling Shepard with just 53 seconds left. Odell Beckham also had a big game with four catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns. It was Beckham's first multi-touchdown game since Week 3 of last season.
If Nick Mullens proved one thing in this game, it's that his debut last week was no fluke. Although his numbers weren't as impressive as the last time we saw him, Mullens was the best quarterback on the field in this game, throwing for 250 yards and a touchdown. Mullens also threw two picks, but both of them came on passes that bounced off the hands of his intended receiver. The biggest star of the game for the 49ers was Matt Breida. Not only did he rush for 101 yards and a touchdown, but he also added another 31 receiving yards and a touchdown catch.