Saints stay perfect on Brees' big night

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NEW ORLEANS --- The New Orleans Saints are still unbeaten and have joined the Indianapolis Colts in making NFL history.

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Saints running back Pierre Thomas scores on one of Drew Brees' five TD passes during Monday night's game in New Orleans.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Saints running back Pierre Thomas scores on one of Drew Brees' five TD passes during Monday night's game in New Orleans.

Drew Brees threw for 371 yards and five touchdown passes, and the Saints beat the New England Patriots 38-17 on Monday night. The Saints joined the Colts at 11-0, the first time two teams have opened with that many wins in the same season.

The convincing victory left little doubt about New Orleans' credentials to match the Patriots' 16-0 regular-season mark in 2007. New England remains the only team to go undefeated in a 16-game regular season.

Brees threw touchdown passes to five different players: Pierre Thomas, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Darnell Dinkins and Marques Colston.

It was the second time the Patriots (7-4) lost to an unbeaten team on the road in three weeks.

New England appeared to be in big trouble when Laurence Maroney fumbled after a short reception on the first play of the third quarter, but New Orleans defensive lineman Sedrick Ellis fumbled right back after returning the ball to the Patriots 19.

Brady then went 4 for 5 on an 81-yard touchdown drive, including a 49-yard pass to Moss to the New Orleans 2. Maroney scored untouched on the next play.

Brady became the Patriots' career passing leader, moving past Drew Bledsoe's total of 29,657 with an 11-yard completion to Sam Aiken.

Brees' scoring passes of 18 yards to Thomas, 75 yards to Henderson and 38 yards to Meachem gave New Orleans a 24-10 lead at halftime.

The second quarter was all Saints. After an interception gave New Orleans the ball at the New England 30, Thomas converted a fourth down with a 3-yard run. He then took a short throw from Brees, avoided a tackle while straddling the sideline and went across the goal line to give the Saints a 10-7 lead.

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