Opponents don't know where it's coming from.
The New Orleans Saints (10-1) haven't lost since Week 1, their 31-17 victory over Atlanta on Thursday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome giving them the second-longest winning streak in franchise history. And there were so many hands involved to help make it happen, there's no way to count them all. Still, here's a try:
OFFENSE: The beauty of the Saints offense is that Drew Brees doesn't care. It doesn't matter to the Saints quarterback who gets open, he just makes it his business to throw it to the guy who does. So, against the Falcons, his four touchdown passes went to four players who began their careers as undrafted rookies – receivers Tommylee Lewis, Austin Carr and Keith Kirkwood and tight end Dan Arnold, a converted receiver. If you're looking for offensive standouts from this game, look no further than that quartet, for the aforementioned reason. They combined to catch seven passes for 90 yards and Arnold, inactive the first four games this season, led the team in receiving yards (45) and tied for the lead with four catches. The Falcons did a good job of not allowing Michael Thomas (four catches, 38 yards) to dominate and with Tre'Quan Smith inactive with his toe injury, the Saints needed help at the position. Lewis, Carr, Kirkwood and Arnold answered the call, and it won't be the last time they're called upon to do so.
DEFENSE: Breaking all the rules here because, like with the offense, it's impossible to single out one player for recognition. The entire defense fits this category for this victory. Five players shared the six sacks – defensive end Cam Jordan (two), defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, linebacker Demario Davis, cornerback P.J. Williams and safety Marcus Williams. Five players forced fumbles – Marcus Williams, P.J. Williams, Davis, linebacker Alex Anzalone and cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Three recovered fumbles (Marcus Williams, cornerback Eli Apple and safety Vonn Bell), one intercepted a pass (linebacker A.J. Klein), seven combined for 13 quarterback hits, six combined for seven passes defensed and six combined for nine tackles for loss. It strains the memory to come up with a time when those kinds of numbers have been produced by a Saints defense. It was an outstanding collaborative effort.
SPECIAL TEAMS: It won't bother me to see Taysom Hill return a few more kickoffs. He had a 32-yard return against Atlanta and you get the feeling that a full-speed-ahead Hill isn't the kind of returner that cover units are aching to see. It was Hill's second-longest return this season and he seems to be scratching the surface.