It all came crashing down for Drew Brees on Thursday night.
He was the one with egg on his face at the end of a 23-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.
In a rare meltdown, the New Orleans Saints quarterback threw a career-high five interceptions. Worse, he botched a series inside the Falcons’ 5-yard line in the final minute of the first half and lousy clock management left New Orleans with no points at the end of the possession. Brees’ streak of 54 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass came to an end.
Now, the Saints are a longshot for the playoffs with a 5-7 record. They will likely need to win out and the up-and-down nature of their season makes that improbable.
“I pride myself on being a great decision-maker and guy that's going to help us win the game, not be a detriment by turning the ball over like that,” Brees said, according to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
“It doesn't really matter how (the interceptions) happened, the responsibility is mine,” Brees said. “And that the first time that's ever happened to me. It's extremely disappointing. A couple of critical mistakes that end up costing us the game and I'm OK saying that because I have to hold myself accountable.”
You have to wonder if it’s a sign the Falcons defense has more talent than it has in recent years, perhaps a sign Atlanta is ready to take advantage of a first-round bye in the playoffs and atone for recent stumbles in the postseason. We’ll see.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune