NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees reminded a national audience why he’s 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 Miami Dolphins 38-17 on Monday night.
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.
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.
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).
The Saints have won their last nine Monday night games, all with Brees at quarterback and often putting on some of his most memorable performances in the process.
There was his 307-yard, four-TD performance against Atlanta late in the 2011 season, the same game in which he broke Dan Marino’s 27-year-old record for yards passing in a season.
Earlier that same season, Brees threw for 363 yards and four scores in a 49-24 Monday night win over the New York Giants.
The Saints’ Super Bowl campaign of 2009 was highlighted by Brees’ 371 yards and five touchdowns in New Orleans’ stunning 38-17 rout of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Now his 10th 400-yard outing since he joined the Saints in 2006 delivered a sobering blow to a Miami team that came in riding a surprising surprising start.
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 reconstructive surgery on Brees throwing shoulder, did not pursue the quarterback as enthusiastically as then-Saints rookie coach Sean Payton. Since then, Brees has become one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NFL history.