Christopher Price offers his Five Things to Watch For tonight.
The Patriots want to limit the amount of damage Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, Reggie Bush, Jeremy Shockey and the rest of the New Orleans offense can do. The best way to do that is to keep it off the field as long as possible through tried and true means. Controlling the ball, winning the time of possession battle and keeping your own offense on the field are all paramount when you’re facing the high-octane Saints offense, and that’s what New England will try and do Monday night in the Superdome.
"That’s important. Usually the best defense for a great offense is our offense keeping possession of it," Brady said when asked about the plan-of-attack against a team like the Saints. "It’s a dangerous team, and offensively, we’re going to have to possess the ball and be good on third down."
Peter King calls the production of Moss and Welker more impressive in some ways than it was in 2007.
Back in the spring, Belichick called Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Brady on the carpet for their comments -- Moss' and Welker's, really -- that the New England offense should be more explosive than in its 589-point 2007 season. Sounded far-fetched at the time, and even through the first month or so of this season. But the Patriots have averaged 37.2 points per game in their last five outings; the 2007 teams averaged 36.8. And though the passing game hasn't been as explosive (50 touchdown passes in 2007, 20 so far in 2009), the production of Moss and Welker has been in some ways more impressive. Tracking the averaged combined production of Moss and Welker through 10 games, compared to 2007:
- Andy Hart offers his Saints Six-Pack.
- Bill Belichick Saturday Press Conference. (15:41 min. video) Plus Transcript.
Locker Room Uncut: Saturday thoughts from the Pats. (3:09 min. video)
- Adam Kilgore says a victory over the dominant Saints tonight will fill the void the loss to the Colts left.
- Karen Guregian calls tonight's matchup a statement game for the Patriots, where they need to rise up and beat the best to prove that they can.
- Bob Ryan knows the Saints are pretty impressive on both sides of the ball, but says the song is the same for the Patriots.
- Jim McBride offers his Patriots-Saints Scouting Report.
- Shalise Manza Young presents her Patriots-Saints pregame analysis.
- Boston Herald Scouting Report: Patriots at Saints.
- Monique Walker focuses on the defenses, saying that's where the key to the game lies.
- Albert Breer notes the Patriots have solidified the AFC East and are now in the race for the number 2 seed.
- Mike Reiss reports Junior Seau's leadership is making an impact without him stepping on the field.
- Jim Donaldson says this game against the Saints will be a defining moment.
- Mike Reiss offers some quick-hit thoughts on the NFL and the Patriots.
- Ron Borges observes the Colts now win the way the Patriots used to. They win in a way that leaves their opponents believing when the game is over that they should have won, could have won and surely will win next time - even though they shouldn’t, they couldn’t and they won’t.
- Shalise Manza Young points out the Patriots would certainly like to put a chink in the Saints armor.
- Mike Reiss notes that protecting their 2007 season isn't driving these Patriots.
- Christopher Price reports the Patriots are a front-runner to land Charlie Weiss in 2010.
- Shalise Manza Young gets up close with Ty Warren.
- Jeff Howe notes the Patriots path to the post-season lies on a troublesome road.
- Jim Donaldson tells his readers to chalk this game up in the loss column.
- Dennis Dillon (Sporting News) Patriots-Saints matchup a carnival of offense.
- Jason La Confora (NFL.com) Separating the contenders (Titans) from the pretenders (Cowboys). Has the Patriots winning the Super Bowl.
- Bucky Brooks (NFL.com) Colts, Vikings continue to steamroll towards playoffs. Week 12 Recap.
- Don Banks (SI) Inside the NFL: Kubiak must go, the amazing Colts, coaching blunders and more.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Tennessee's thrilling last-second TD trumped all in Week 12.
- Dave Richard (CBS Sports) History lessons: Brady, Brees at their best?
- Pat Yasinkas (ESPN) '09 Saints battling legend of '07 Pats.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Take your pick: '07 Pats or '09 Saints.
- Sunday Rewind: Week 12. (Nat'l Football Post)
Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Colts do enough...unlike the playoffs.
VIEW FROM NEW ORLEANS
- Sheldon Mickles (Baton Rouge Advocate) Saints aspire to reach Pats gold standard.
- Les East (Baton Rouge Advocate) Drew Brees and Tom Brady: On top of their games.
- James Varney (Times-Picayune) Kevin Faulk not nostalgic about returning to Superdome.
- Nakia Hogan (Times-Picayune) Saints vs. Patriots: Inside the game.
- Peter Finney (Times-Picayune) Monday Night Football's John Gruden "jazzed" about tonight's matchup.
- Nakia Hogan (Times-Picayune) Patriots' Bill Belichick a master of subterfuge.
- Jeff Duncan (Times-Picayune) Drew Brees' mantra contains winning formula for New Orleans Saints.