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PI Finds: Brees’ Banner Night

Posted by Neil Paine on November 30, 2009

Two weeks after their debacle at Indianapolis, the New England Patriots suffered another embarrassing defeat in front of a national television audience on Monday night, as Drew Brees ravaged their defense en route to a 38-17 New Orleans Saints blowout. Here are the worst losses by the Patriots during the Bill Belichick era:

Year Day Date Team Points Opponent Points Location Margin
2003 Sun 9/7/2003 Patriots 0 Bills 31 Buffalo -31
2008 Sun 9/21/2008 Patriots 13 Dolphins 38 Foxboro -25
2000 Thu 11/23/2000 Patriots 9 Lions 34 Detroit -25
2005 Sun 10/2/2005 Patriots 17 Chargers 41 Foxboro -24
2008 Sun 11/30/2008 Patriots 10 Steelers 33 Foxboro -23
2009 Mon 11/30/2009 Patriots 17 Saints 38 New Orleans -21
2006 Sun 12/10/2006 Patriots 0 Dolphins 21 Miami -21

Brees was also at the helm of the Chargers' offense during that 41-17 game in 2005, so he's actually engineered two blowouts over the Belichick Patriots in his career.

But Brees' monster performance on Monday Night Football really stands out in particular as one of the best by a QB against the New England defense during Belichick's tenure there. Here are the most passing yards in a game vs. the Patriots since 2000:

Rk Player Date Tm Location Result Cmp Att Yds TD Int
1 Kurt Warner 11/18/2001 STL Foxboro W 24-17 30 42 401 3 2
2 Trent Green 11/22/2004 KAN Kansas City L 19-27 27 42 381 2 1
3 Drew Brees 11/30/2009 NOR New Orleans W 38-17 18 23 371 5 0
4 Kurt Warner 2/3/2002 STL New Orleans L 17-20 28 44 365 1 2
5 Brian Griese 10/1/2000 DEN Denver L 19-28 31 50 361 1 1
6 Gus Frerotte 11/13/2005 MIA Miami L 16-23 25 47 360 2 1
7 Steve McNair 10/5/2003 TEN Foxboro L 30-38 23 45 360 0 1
8 Donovan McNabb 2/6/2005 PHI Jacksonville L 21-24 30 51 357 3 3
9 Elvis Grbac 12/4/2000 KAN Foxboro L 24-30 25 46 350 3 1
10 Matt Hasselbeck 10/17/2004 SEA Foxboro L 20-30 27 50 349 0 2

In addition, Brees became the first passer to throw for 5 touchdowns in a game vs. New England during the Belichick era:

Rk Player Date Tm Location Result Cmp Att Yds TD Int
1 Drew Brees 11/30/2009 NOR New Orleans W 38-17 18 23 371 5 0
2 Eli Manning 12/29/2007 NYG East Rutherford L 35-38 22 32 251 4 1
3 Peyton Manning 11/15/2009 IND Indianapolis W 35-34 28 44 327 4 2
4 Peyton Manning 11/30/2003 IND Indianapolis L 34-38 29 48 278 4 1

All told, it was a banner passing night for Brees, who entered the game with many in the media still wondering if he belonged in the discussion with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the game's top quarterback. After a performance like the one he had against the Pats, I'd say the answer seems to be a resounding "yes".