Brees and Hightower led the New Orleans Saints past Jacksonville - - The News for South Mississippi

Brees and Hightower led the New Orleans Saints past Jacksonville on Sunday


If Saints quarterback Drew Brees was playing with a torn plantar fascia, he surely didn't look like it.  Brees was outstanding.  He completed 25-of-36 pass attempts for 412 yards and three touchdowns.  He didn't throw an interception.

The highlight was a 71-yard touchdown strike to a wide-open Brandin Cooks in the first quarter that propelled the Saints to a 14-0 first quarter lead.  Cooks would surpass a 1,000 yards receiving becoming the first Saints receiver to accomplish that feat since 2012.  

What more can you say about the performance turned in by veteran running back Tim Hightower.  New Orleans signed Hightower as a free agent hoping he could make a comeback after sitting out the past three seasons after a knee injured and complications kept him off the playing field. It was his first 100-yard rushing game since December 12, 2010.

Hightower banged out 122 yards and scored twice.  If he can return next season in good shape, the Saints will have a solid running game with the return of Mark Ingram, who must return after a season-ending injury.

Former running back Travaris Cadet was inked this week and was placed on the active roster.  Cadet hauled-in a 44-yard touchdown pass from Brees and played well.  Veteran running back C.J. Spiller who was also signed as a free agent during the off-season hasn't lived-up to high expectations and his days in a Saints uniform could be numbered.  He's been a bust.

On a downward note, Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles passed for 368 yards and four touchdowns including a 90-yard strike to Allen Robinson who zoomed past Saints defensive back Brandon Browner.  The Saints defense established a new NFL record by giving up 43 touchdown passes allowed in a single season.

Brees surpassed 400 yards passing for the 16th time in his career, slipping past Dan Marino for second-all time.  Peyton Manning holds the record with 17.  

The 6 and 9 Saints close out the 2015 NFL season on the road at Atlanta next Sunday.  The Falcons handed Carolina its first loss of the season 23-17 on Sunday in the Georgia Dome.

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