The scoreboard operator in Cincinnati should probably ask for a bonus this week, because the Saints had him doing some serious work on Sunday during their 51-14 blowout win over the Bengals.  With the win, the Saints have now won eight games in a row, which is the longest active streak in the NFL right now. Although New Orleans has had some big wins during their streak, this one might have been the most impressive, and that’s because it came on the road against an AFC playoff contender in a situation that had all the makings of a trap game.  If we’ve learned one thing about the Saints during this streak, it’s that their offense is borderline unstoppable. If you try to take away one weapon, they have three other weapons to replace it, and the worst part for opposing defenses is that Drew Brees knows how to use every weapon in his arsenal as he proved against the Bengals.  In the first half alone, Brees toyed with the Bengals defense as he led the Saints to a touchdown on all five of their first half possessions. On the Saints’ first score of the game, Brees threw a perfect seven-yard strike to Michael Thomas, who was actually being covered pretty well by Cincinnati’s William Jackson. Unfortunately, good coverage means nothing when you’re playing the Saints. 
Michael Thomas puts us on the board with a touchdown grab! #NOvsCIN— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 11, 2018

Of course, Brees doesn’t only throw touchdowns to his receivers, he also loves to throw passes to his running backs, and he did a lot of that against the Bengals. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined for 104 receiving yards against Cincinnati, with 28 of those coming on this touchdown catch by Ingram. 

Mark Ingram shows great effort on the touchdown and throws up the X for @DezBryant #NOvsCIN— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 11, 2018

You know what else Brees did in the first half? He showed off his skills in the two-minute drill. After Marcus Williams picked off Andy Dalton to set up New Orleans with the ball at the Bengals’ 18-yard line with eight seconds left to play in the half, Brees went to work and it only took him one play to make the Bengals pay. 
.@DrewBrees to @CantGuardMike for the @Saints TOUCHDOWN!📺: FOX #GoSaints— NFL (@NFL) November 11, 2018

It’s a surprise the Bengals’ defense even showed up for the second half after the way Brees carved them up during the game’s first two quarters. Brees was nearly perfect in the first half, going 18 of 20 for 214 yards and three touchdowns (Brees ended up throwing for 265 yards total). With those three touchdown passes, Brees now has 508 for his career, moving him past Brett Favre for the second most all-time.Brees probably could have thrown 508 touchdowns against the Bengals’ defense if the Saints didn’t take their foot off the gas in the second half. With the Saints up 48-7, coach Sean Payton decided to let Teddy Bridgewater play the fourth quarter.  The Saints are officially the scariest team in the league right now and we’re giving them an A+ for their dominating win over the Bengals, and you know what, we’re also going to give the scoreboard operator an A+ too. 

Sorry to interrupt your reading, but just a quick PSA here. We have a pretty amazing daily NFL podcast you may not be aware of. It’s hosted by Will Brinson and it’s all the things you’re looking for: news, fantasy, picks, really, just football stuff for football people. Subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play.  New Orleans 51-14 over Cincinnati Saints: A+ It’s hard to say what was more impressive in this game: a Saints defense that absolutely shut down the Bengals, or a New Orleans offense that tied the team’s franchise record for points in a road game. Drew Brees threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Saints to a score during all eight possessions he was on the field (six touchdowns, two field goals). Alvin Kamara (two rushing touchdowns) and Mark Ingram (104 rushing yards, 54 receiving yards) also went off with both back totaling more than 100 yards. Defensively, the Saints harassed Andy Dalton: They sacked him four times and forced the Bengals quarterback into throwing two interceptions.   Bengals: F We’re putting as much effort into writing this grade as the Bengals did into this game, which is why they’re only getting this sentence.  Chicago 34-22 over Detroit Lions: D After letting Matthew Stafford get sacked 10 times in Week 9, things didn’t get much better for the Lions offensive line in Chicago. For the second week in a row, Stafford got destroyed as the Bears sacked him six times. Things got so bad for Stafford in this game that it actually looked like he was expecting to get sacked every time he touched the ball. 

Bears: A- The Bears’ ground game was slowed to a screeching halt by the Lions, but that didn’t matter because Mitchell Trubisky was on fire. Trubisky threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns in a game where the Bears rolled out to a 26-0 lead. Allen Robinson had his biggest day with the Bears as the former Jaguars receiver caught six passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. The yardage total was more than Robinson had in his past three games combined (91) with the Bears. Rookie wide receiver Anthony Miller also exploded, going off for 122 yards and a touchdown. The minus in this A- is for Cody Parkey, who might have had the worst luck of any kicker in NFL history. Parkey missed two extra points and two field goals, but the twist here is that all four kicks hit the upright and missed.  Washington 16-3 over Tampa Bay Redskins: B+ The Redskins were beat up with multiple injuries going into this game, but that didn’t stop them from grinding out an ugly win. The Redskins basically perfected the “bend but don’t break” defense in this game. On one hand, they allowed the Bucs to get in the red zone five times, but on the other hand, they held Tampa to zero touchdowns. On a day where Tampa missed two field goals, Dustin Hopkins came up big for the Redskins by scoring 10 of their 16 points.  Buccaneers: C- In what might go down as the weirdest offensive day in NFL history, the Buccaneers totaled 501 yards, but scored just three points. It was the fewest points ever scored in an NFL game by a team that put up more than 500 yards of offense. If you’re wondering how that stat line could possibly happen, here’s how: The Buccaneers drove inside of Washington’s 30-yard line a total of six times and came away with just one field goal. The other five possessions ended with a two fumbles, an interception and two missed field goals.  Tennessee 34-10 over New England Patriots: F The Patriots failed in every phase of the game in this loss with an ugly showing by their offense, their defense and even their special teams. The return of Sony Michel (11 carries, 31 yards) did nothing to spark a Patriots ground game that totaled only 40 yards. Defensively, the Patriots had zero answers for a Titans offense that scored on its first three possessions. The 24-point margin makes this game tied for the second biggest loss that the Patriots have been handed since 2003 in a game where Tom Brady starts. 

Titans: A+ Titans coach Mike Vrabel spent eight seasons playing for the Patriots and it showed, because he definitely knew how to attack them. The Titans pounded the ball in this game with 36 rushing attempts that led to 150 yards. When Tennessee can move the ball on the ground, that opens things up for Marcus Mariota. Mariota threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns and is now 11-0 in his career when the Titans tally 35 or more carries in a game. Most of Mariota’s yards went to Corey Davis, who caught seven passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, the Titans smothered Tom Brady, sacking him three times and keeping him under constant pressure.  Kansas City 26-14 over Arizona Cardinals: C+ Someone in Arizona finally got the memo that David Johnson needs to be getting the ball more. In his biggest game of the season, Johnson touched the ball 28 times and totaled 183 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Chandler Jones racked up two of Arizona’s five sacks as the Cardinals held Patrick Mahomes to his lowest passing total of the season (249 yards).  Chiefs: B- For the first time all season, the Chiefs defense might have outshined their offense. Not only did the Chiefs sack Josh Rosen five times — with two of those coming from Chris Jones — but they also picked him off twice, which set up one of Kansas City’s three touchdowns. Although the Chiefs offense was held in check for most of the game, Tyreek Hill still managed to put up some huge numbers with 137 total yards (117 receiving yards, 20 rushing yards) and two receiving touchdowns.  Buffalo 41-10 over New York Jets Bills: A+ It looks like all the Bills needed to fix their offensive problems was to play a journeyman quarterback who hadn’t started a game in two years. Playing in his first game since 2016, Matt Barkley shredded the Jets defense for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Although he’s been on the team for less than two weeks, that was apparently enough time for Barkley to develop some serious chemistry with Robert Foster (three catches, 105 yards) and Zay Jones (eight catches, 93 yards, one touchdown). Barkley got some serious help from a Bills rushing attack that went over 200 yards (212) and a Bills defense that held their opponent under 200 yards (199) for the second straight week, marking the first time since 1999 that a Bills defense has pulled that off. 

Jets: F This game was a disaster from start to finish for the Jets. For one, their offense went three-and-out on each of the team’s first four possessions. After getting their first first down of the game midway through the second quarter, Josh McCown celebrated by throwing an interception a few plays later. McCown only threw for 135 yards and he was sacked three times. The 199 total yards by the Jets marked the first time since 2013 that they were held under 200 yards in a home game.   Cleveland 28-16 over Atlanta Falcons: D Forget their red zone offense, the Falcons need to work on their offensive play-calling from the 1-yard line. The Falcons basically lost this game early in the fourth quarter when they had three chances to punch the ball in the end zone from the 1-yard line. Atlanta failed on all three attempts and came way with zero points. The Falcons offense was basically a disaster the entire second half with two turnovers, two punts and that failed conversion from the 1-yard line. Defensively, the Falcons surrendered a total of 211 yards rushing, which is the most the team has given up in a game since 2014.  Browns: A If we were regrading the Browns’ 2018 draft right now, we’d give it an A+ after the way their rookies played against the Falcons. Nick Chubb went off for 176 yards, including a 92-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that set the franchise record for longest scoring run. Chubb also caught three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. The top pick in the NFL Draft also had a big day with Baker Mayfield completing 17 of 20 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns. Mayfield completed his first 13 passes and didn’t throw an incompletion until the second half. It’s almost like Todd Haley was holding the Browns’ offense back because the unit has looked much better since he was fired.   Indianapolis 29-26 over Jacksonville Jaguars: B- After carrying the Jaguars through the 2017 season, it’s starting to look like the Jags defense is now the weak link on this team. Despite 320 yards and two touchdowns from Blake Bortles and a huge game from Leonard Fournette (109 yards, two touchdowns), the Jags lost this one because their defense couldn’t stop the Colts. Indy scored a touchdown on four of their first five possessions as the Jags quickly fell behind 29-13. The Jags really only made one offensive mistake in the game and that came late in the fourth quarter when Rashad Greene lost a fumble as Jacksonville was driving to tie the game or even take the lead. 

Colts: B The Colts’ decision to sign Eric Ebron is starting to look like one of the most underrated moves of the 2018 offseason. The former first-round pick, who only scored 11 touchdowns in four total seasons with the Lions, now has 10 touchdowns with the Colts following a three-score game against Jacksonville. Not only did Ebron catch two touchdown passes, but he also ran in another one. Andrew Luck’s hot streak continued as he threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns. The touchdown total means that Luck is just the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for three touchdowns or more in six consecutive games. 

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