This is not just a football game. It is a litmus test. The Saints' offense demolished teams in the preseason, then put up 45 points, 515 total yards and six TD passes against the toothless Lions in the opener. Now New Orleans travels to Philadelphia to play a contender with a blitzing defense. The Eagles (who may be without QB Donovan McNabb and his fractured rib) must contend with the hottest passer in football; only two NFL QBs exceeded 319 passing yards on Sunday, and that's what Drew Brees—who had 358, 103 of them to Devery Henderson (below)—has averaged per game since the start of 2008. "Philadelphia has been the barometer for NFC teams for about the last 10 years," Saints coach Sean Payton said on Monday. I like Brees to stay hot. Saints 29, Eagles 20.
This is an article from the Sept. 21, 2009 issue