Although the score was close late in the first half, the New Orleans Saints proved to be too much for the Miami Dolphins to handle. The Saints pulled away with 21 straight points, cruising to a 38-17 victory.
Drew Brees led the way for the Saints, carving up the Dolphins to the tune of 413 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 30-of-39 passes, burning the Dolphins with short passes and deep shots over the top. Darren Sproles was one of Brees' main targets early on, catching seven passes for 114 yards with most of the yards coming after the catch. New Orleans didn't have much of a running game, but Brees didn't need it. He completed passes to eight different receivers, spreading the ball around and keeping the Dolphin defenders off balance.
Miami's offense looked like it could keep up with the Saints early on, but turnovers and costly mistakes were too much to overcome. Ryan Tannehill threw for 249 yards, but tossed three interceptions and lost a fumble. Miami scored on two of its first three drives, only to come up empty-handed on its next five drives. The Saints pulled away during that stretch and the Dolphins were unable to make up the difference.
The win improved the Saints to 4-0 and gave New Orleans a significant advantage in the NFC South just four weeks into the season. Carolina is 1-2 while Atlanta is 1-3 and the Buccaneers are 0-4.
The loss was Miami's first of the season, dropping the Dolphins to 3-1 and one game behind New England.
Fantasy Studs and duds
Brees once again put up huge numbers, finishing with 413 passing yards and four touchdowns. Sproles and Jimmy Graham were the two biggest beneficiaries. Sproles finished with 142 total yards and two touchdowns while Graham caught four passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Mike Wallace had a quiet game for the Dolphins finishing with three catches and 24 receiving yards. He was targets seven times.
Nolan Carroll missed part of the second quarter after suffering an ankle injury, but returned following halftime. Safety Chris Clemons and linebacker Jason Trusnik left the game in the second half and did not return.
Keenan Lewis suffered a lower body injury and was forced out temporarily only to return later in the game.
Did they cover?
The Saints opened as a 5-1/2-point favorite, according to Odds Shark and covered the spread with ease. The total opened at 48.5 and those betting the over cashed in.
Oct. 6, 1 p.m. ET: Miami vs. Baltimore
Oct. 6, 1 p.m. ET: New Orleans at Chicago