BREES, SAINTS TOPPLE COLTS

The Colts met the New Orleans Saints and their high-powered offense Sunday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints scored seven touchdowns and two field goals on their first nine possessions, staggering the Colts. Drew Brees passed for five touchdowns in New Orleans' 62-7 victory. *

INDIANAPOLIS --New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees continued his onslaught on Dan Marino's single-season passing record Sunday night at the expense of the Indianapolis Colts.

Brees hit 31-of-35 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns as the Saints stunned the visiting Colts, 62-7, in a nationally televised game.  Brees, with 2,477 passing yards this season, is on pace to beat Marino's mark of 5,084 yards.  Brees compiled a near-perfect 144.9 quarterback rating against the Colts.

"It was just our night, one of those games that doesn't come along too often," Brees said during an NBC interview.  "But it was a great win, obviously, on Sunday night (television). … We have a great football team, we have a long journey ahead of us, but this is a good stepping stone."

The Saints totaled 557 yards and 36 first downs.  The first downs represented the most ever allowed by a Colts team, as did New Orleans' points total.  The Saints' first punt came in the final three minutes of the game after the home team scored seven touchdowns and two field goals on its first nine offensive possessions.

Colts Coach Jim Caldwell did not ladle out excuses afterward.

"Obviously, we just didn't play well in any area," Caldwell said in an interview on the club's radio network.  "All across the board, they were certainly a better team tonight.  They ran the ball on us at will. … They threw the ball on us.  We just could not get enough going to stem the tide. They played well in all areas and we certainly did not."

The game opened on an ominous note for Indianapolis.  Curtis Painter, in the shotgun formation, was not ready for center Jeff Saturday's snap and it caromed off the quarterback.  Jonathan Vilma recovered, and the Saints marched 41 yards in six plays for a quick 7-0 lead and the first of four straight touchdowns.

New Orleans went on to lead 34-7 at halftime and 48-7 after three quarters.  The Saints totaled 75 plays to Indianapolis' 46.  They rushed for 236 yards, led by Mark Ingram's 91.

Rookie running back Delone Carter scored the Colts' only touchdown on a two-yard run.  He led Indianapolis with 89 rushing yards, including a hard-nosed 42-yard gain that set up the touchdown.

 "He had, certainly, a lot of nice runs for us," Caldwell said. "He popped through there and made some things happen."

For the Colts, who fell to 0-7, there were precious few highlights Sunday night, but that will not keep Caldwell and his staff from analyzing the game film upon their arrival back in Indianapolis in Monday's early-morning hours.  The coach knows change will not come without hard work ahead of next Sunday's game at Tennessee.

"It's going to be tough, but that's the way it is," Caldwell said.  "We have to go through and examine where we were wrong and what we should have done better.  Then we'll put that one behind us and move ahead."

In the Colts' locker room, team leaders like Robert Mathis tried to keep morale up.  Mathis said he will tell the younger players to "keep doing your job and keep chopping the wood or hitting the rock or whatever kind of metaphor you can come up with."

He summed up Sunday night's loss thusly:  "We're a team.  We didn't do what we get paid to do. We didn't do our job today."

* *

SCORING RECAP

FIRST QUARTER (9:02 remaining)

The Saints capitalized on an Indy turnover to get on the scoreboard first. Colts quarterback Curtis Painter, in the shotgun formation, was not ready for a snap from center Jeff Saturday and the resulting fumble, recovered by Jonathan Vilma, put the Saints at the Indy 41-yard line.  From there, Saints quarterback Drew Brees engineered a touchdown in six plays, including a 14-yard scoring pass to Marques Colston. John Kasay hit the extra point.  Saints 7, Colts 0

FIRST QUARTER (5:31 remaining)

The Saints struck again, this time on a six-play, 81-yard drive.  The big play was a 57-yard completion from Brees to Pierre Thomas, which was followed by a face-mask penalty that gave New Orleans the ball at the four-yard line.  Brees connected with Colston again for the score. Kasay hit the extra point.  Saints 14, Colts 0

FIRST QUARTER (3:42 remaining)

Brees threw his third touchdown pass of the quarter, hitting Darren Sproles with a six-yarder.  It completed an eight-play, 52-yard drive that started when Cameron Jordan recovered a fumble by the Colts' Delone Carter.  Kasay added the Saints' extra point.  Saints 21, Colts 0

SECOND QUARTER (10:39 remaining)

The Saints scored their fourth touchdown in as many possessions, marching 69 yards in seven plays.  Jed Collins burrowed in from the 1-yard line for the score.  Kasay added the extra point.Saints 28, Colts 0

SECOND QUARTER (4:20 remaining)

The Saints made it 31-0 on Kasay's 23-yard field goal.  The drive went 11 plays and 53 yards.  Saints 31, Colts 0

SECOND QUARTER (1:56 remaining)

The Colts put up their first points, thanks largely to Carter, a rookie running back. His tough and persistent 42-yard run was the big play of the 80-yard drive.  Carter burst over from the 2-yard line for the score.  Adam Vinatieri kicked the extra point.  Saints 31, Colts 7

SECOND QUARTER (0:00 remaining)

Kasay booted a 47-yard field goal as time expired.  The drive was seven plays and 52 yards, with the big play being Brees' 39-yard completion to Colston.  The Saints completed a perfect first half, scoring four touchdowns and two field goals on six possessions. Saints 34, Colts 7

THIRD QUARTER (9:16 remaining)

Brees cracked the 300-yard mark in passing when he hit Jimmy Graham with a four-yard touchdown.  It completed a 10-play, 75-yard drive.  Kasay kicked the extra point.  Saints 41, Colts 7

THIRD QUARTER (1:41 remaining)

Brees connected for his fifth touchdown pass, hitting Graham with a two-yarder.  The drive was 11 plays and 60 yards.  Kasay made the extra point.  Saints 48, Colts 7

FOURTH QUARTER (12:26 remaining)

Sproles ran 16 yards for a touchdown that ended a six-play, 58-yard march.  It was New Orleans' ninth offensive possession of the game, on which the Saints recorded seven touchdowns and two field goals.  Kasay kicked the extra point.

Saints 55, Colts 7

FOURTH QUARTER (12:12 remaining)

Leigh Thomas intercepted a Painter pass and returned it 42 yards for the score.  Kasay booted the extra point.  Saints 62, Colts 7

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