NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - Quarterback Drew Brees had a field day throwing the football against the porous Tampa Bay defensive backfield.
He completed 24 of 31 passes for 381 yards and four touchdowns... consisting of 44, 10, 41 and 76 yards.
Brees added a rushing touchdown locking down the Saints 8th win in the Superdome this season, going undefeated at home in the dome.
Coach Sean Payton believes his team is ready for the playoffs.
"You always want to play your best football this time of year. We felt we played well last week.," Payton stated. "We were good enough today to get the win and now it is just putting together a good week of practice. We are going to play what appears to be the NFC East winner from what I understand. We will make sure we get plenty enough preparation for that."
Sunday night Philadelphia captured the NFC East Division championship by holding off the home standing Dallas Cowboys 24-22. The Saints (11-5) must battle the Eagles (10-6) Saturday night in one of the NFC Wildcard playoff games. The other match up sends San Francisco at Green Bay in game one on Saturday.
Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles tossed two touchdown passes to help guide the Eagles under the win column.
Despite playing on the road the Saints will come out slinging the football against the Philadelphia defense. If New Orleans is to get a crucial playoff road victory Brees must get time to throw the football. When Drew has time to get his passes off, he'll deliver the ball right on the money.
Coach Payton was impressed with the consistent play of Brees on Sunday.
"Brees was outstanding with his location with a lot of the throws down the field, which allowed the receivers to run after the catch."
Another reason for the Saints success the season and it was a major reason for the turnaround... defense. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan came in and revamped the Saints into an aggressive unit that causes havoc to opposing quarterbacks.
Payton said."I think getting Ryan here and bringing that change and that enthusiasm and the rest of the coaches on that side of the ball."
Payton says a few new players on defense helped the unit get better and said the players are believing in what they are doing.
With Sunday's win over Tampa Bay, the Saints have advanced to the NFC playoffs for the 10th time in franchise history, the fourth time in the last five seasons and the fifth time under coach Payton.