See Drew Brees’ take after Saints topple Washington: 'I don't see the rhythm'

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The New Orleans Saints hit big when they needed it most in Week 5 but things aren't just quite right yet, at least according to the former QB.

Drew Brees, speaking in his new analyst role on Sunday Night Football, applauded the design and execution on some critical third-down plays that helped the Saints seal the result, but early downs remain a concern.

"It was a little sloppy," Brees said. "I don’t see the rhythm, tempo passing game that just complements the run game."

It's a fair critique even after a much-needed win. The Saints' offense looked disjointed in stretches. Quarterback Jameis Winston threw for a season-high 279 yards and tossed another 4 touchdowns, but he completed just 50% of his throws (15 of 30) and turned the ball over twice.

Brees pointed to the 72-yard shot play to speedster Deonte Harris in the first quarter, and a well-designed rub route that opened up Marquez Callaway's second TD of the day as particularly impressive.

“Good play design, good job on third down," Brees continued. "But besides that, just the first and and second down, moving the ball, possessing the ball. Just haven’t really seen that rhythm here over the last few weeks."

Questions regarding the first post-Brees version of the Saints offense have been common, with the operation appearing a bit pared down over the first few weeks of the season.

Brees didn't offer an explanation for why he thinks this year's Saints offense has been a bit off-kilter through 5 weeks, but it'd be fair to offer an injury explanation. The Saints were already playing without WRs Michael Thomas and Tre'Quan Smith, TE Nick Vannett, LT Terron Armstead and C Erik McCoy. After early contributions they lost Harris and QB Taysom Hill to injuries. But the offense headlined by Winston, Alvin Kamara and Marquez Callaway was enough to get the job done. Tight end Adam Trautman had his biggest impact on the young season, with two catches for 43 yards.

The Saints now head into their bye, with hopes of returning many of those players by the time they reach Seattle for a showdown with the Seahawks.

"I really give credit to the guys behind [the injured players] that were able to step up," Winston said after the game, pointing to veterans Kenny Stills and Garrett Griffin, as well as Trautman, in that regard.

"We've got a lot of things to fix execution-wise," Winston continued. "But man it's going to be awesome when things come together, when we get healthy, when we get back rolling. So I'm more than excited for that."