It's hard to believe the New Orleans Saints scored six touchdowns Sunday and didn't need a single scoring pass from quarterback Drew Brees.
Yet Brees still made a few key plays that got the Saints' 47-10 rout rolling against the Buffalo Bills. Two pass plays top a run-oriented review of Ten Plays That Shaped the Game:
1. Second-window throw. The Bills trailed just 7-3 early in the second quarter and had the Saints in a third-and-13 hole at their own 49.
Bills safety Jordan Poyer anticipated a pass to Brandon Coleman on a 14-yard dig route and stepped in front of the receiver. But Brees had time to step up in the pocket. The Bills rushed four, and the Saints kept a sixth man in to block. Brees waited for Coleman to cross the field and hit him after a few more steps. Coleman ran down to the Buffalo 21.
"He definitely read it," Coleman said of Poyer. "It's just one of them things about playing football. In the games, you've got to adjust on the go. He came in and cut the route. I had to get in the second window. Drew was able to find me. ... It's about having some football awareness. Just move to the next spot in the zone that's open. We've done that in practice."
Four plays later, the Saints were in the end zone and had a 14-3 lead.
2. Big wideout. New Orleans grabbed full control of the game by taking the second-half kickoff and marching 75 yards for a TD to go ahead, 21-3.
The key play was a 21-yard pass from Brees to his top receiver, 6-foot-3 Michael Thomas. The Bills had the Saints in a second-and-15 hole. Thomas ran a go route up the left side against a Cover 2 zone. Cornerback Shareece Wright tried to jam Thomas at the line but didn't get enough of him. Wright recovered and was on Thomas' hip downfield.
Brees' pass was too perfect, high and out of reach to anyone but Thomas.
"When Drew puts that ball in the air I've got to come down with it," said Thomas, who had nine catches for 117 yards. "We do tons of drills putting the ball in that position. It's something we worked on all week, and it paid off Sunday. The ball was in the air, Drew put his trust in me and I made a play."
3. Short-yardage gash. Mark Ingram ran 25 yards up the middle on a fourth-and-1 play to set up the Saints' first touchdown.
The Bills' linebackers were tight to the line of scrimmage, not at their normal depth, to try to stuff the run. A fake reverse by Ted Ginn held the linebackers in place for a second. Defensive tackle Cedric Thornton got walled off, and Ingram burst off right guard to the Buffalo 5.
Safety Micah Hyde missed a shoulder tackle of Ingram at the 21, which allowed for another 15 yards.
4. Power TD. Ingram was untouched on the first TD, a 1-yard run. Guard Andrus Peat blocked Poyer, and fullback Zach Line blocked slot cornerback Leonard Johnson.
5. F-G Lead. It was the same fullback-guard lead in the third quarter, just two plays after Thomas' 21-yard catch. Peat pulled to the right and blocked Preston Brown. Line led the way and took out Ramon Humber on the edge. Ingram rumbled 16 yards to the Buffalo 24.
6. No contest. Alvin Kamara's 5-yard run around right end made the score 24-3. The Saints had three receivers to the left. Kamara took a jab step to the left then caught a pitch to the weak side. Tight end Josh Hill blocked cornerback Tre'Davious White. All Kamara had to do was beat defensive end Shaq Lawson to the pylon.
"It was a little flip play," Kamara said. "Josh Hill got a great block and all I had to do is walk in right behind him."
What did Kamara think when he saw No. 90 was the only defender to beat?
"Cakewalk," he said. "If I've just got to beat him, it's all over with."
7. Brees TD. Brees got the 18th rushing TD of his career with a 7-yard score to make it 37-3. Coverage was great. Brees waited 8 seconds before taking off for the end zone.
8. Rumbling INT. Saints 305-pound defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins dropped into zone coverage and caught a deflection off Charles Clay for a fourth-quarter interception. The pass from Tyrod Taylor was not good enough, on Clay's back shoulder.
9. Early TO. The only defensive stop the Bills got, aside from two end-of-half kneeldowns, was in the first quarter. Humber tackled Hill on a short bootleg pass at the Bills' 9 and popped the ball out.
10. Shady juke. The Bills' longest play was their third play from scrimmage when LeSean McCoy juked Alex Okafor in the open field and ran 36 yards with a pitch.