NEW ORLEANS – Drew Brees reminded a national audience why he is becoming Mr. Monday Night, and gave the Miami Dolphins another reason to regret not making a harder push to sign him when they had the chance seven years ago.
Brees passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns, and the Saints turned a clash of unbeaten teams into a lopsided affair, beating the Dolphins 38-17 on Monday night.
“I felt like we found our rhythm,” said Brees, who completed 30 of 39 passes. “Every time we touched the ball, it felt like we were going to go down and score points.”
Two of Brees’ touchdowns went to Jimmy Graham, for 27 and 43 yards, as the tight end had at least 100 yards receiving for the third straight game.
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Brees’ other scoring strikes went to Benjamin Watson and Darren Sproles, who also rushed for a touchdown.
Sproles’ 5-yard scoring run on the game’s opening series gave the Saints a lead they would not relinquish en route to their first 4-0 start since their Super Bowl championship season of 2009. The Saints started last season with four losses.
“We like this a lot better,” Brees said. “Everything that could have gone wrong for us went wrong (early last season). Fortunately we’re having the ball bounce our way this year.”
Ryan Tannehill passed for 249 yards and a touchdown to Charles Clay, but his four turnovers on a fumble and three interceptions hurt Miami (3-1).
“We’re not happy. Obviously, you don’t want to come out and perform like that,” Tannehill said. “But you look at it and there are things you can correct.”
The Saints have won their last nine Monday-night games, all with Brees at quarterback and often putting on memorable performances in the process.
Brees’ 10th 400-yard outing since he joined the Saints in 2006 delivered a sobering blow to Miami.
When Brees was a free agent in 2006, he drew the most interest from New Orleans and Miami. But the Dolphins, fearful of the effects of surgery on Brees’ throwing shoulder, did not pursue him as enthusiastically as then-Saints rookie coach Sean Payton.