After breaking into the win column for 2014 with a 20-9 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the New Orleans Saints will look to even their record at 2-2 when they face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. Kickoff from AT&T Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Saints put together a consistent performance in their victory over the Vikings. For a New Orleans team that had dropped its first two games before entering the contest, losing three in a row was the last thing on their minds and this determination was evident by a balanced performance on offense and play on defense that prevented an opponent from scoring a touchdown for the first time since a 40-0 win over Tampa Bay on December 16, 2012.
While the Saints defense held the Vikings to only 247 total net yards and prevented them from reaching the end zone, their offensive performance consisted of 396 total net yards, including 108 on the ground, converting nine-of-13 (69%) third down attempts, scoring touchdowns in two-of-three red zone trips and committing zero turnovers for the first time of the season.
QB Drew Brees enjoyed his most efficient performance of the season and completed 27-of-35 passes for 293 yards with two touchdowns and a 120.3 passer rating. The running back quartet of Travaris Cadet, Austin Johnson, Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas combined for 110 yards on the ground, while Thomas scored a touchdown. Brees and WR Marques Colston connected on their 64th touchdown as a quarterback-wide receiver duo.
Defensively, the Saints pressured Vikings QBs Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater on a consistent basis. OLB Junior Galette and DE Cameron Jordan each tallied one sack apiece. ILB Curtis Lofton led New Orleans defenders with 14 tackles (11 solo).
The Saints will now return to action in prime time against a Cowboys squad that has recorded consecutive victories after dropping its first contest. Their offense once again joins the Saints as among the most efficient in the NFL with RB DeMarco Murray leading the NFL in rushing with 75 carries for 385 yards (5.1 avg.) and three TDs.
The Cowboys hold a 15-11 edge in the all-time series, with the Saints capturing eight of the last nine meetings, including a 49-17 decision on November 10, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the most recent matchup between these clubs.
This Week In The NFC South: The Carolina Panthers travel to the Baltimore Ravens, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons play at New Orleans' Week 3 opponent, Minnesota.