Saints 38, Jaguars 27: Nick Underhill’s three and out _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws against Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Roy Miller (97) in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015.

1. WHAT WE LEARNED

Drew Brees is an absurdly tough individual. If you weren’t inundated with stories about his injury or reminded constantly during Sunday’s broadcast of the 38-27 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, there would have been little evidence to suggest he was battling a Grade 2 tear of his plantar fascia. The Saints quarterback passed for more than 400 yards and threw for three touchdowns. The only time he was sacked, Brees was dialing up a deep shot. He fit the ball in tight windows, got it down the field, and made most of his throws. Maybe we should have believed him when said he was going to play.

2. TRENDING NOW

As you’ve been reminded countless times, New Orleans is done playing meaningful games. Each win only takes this team further down the draft order. But there are some bright spots on this team. Cornerback Delvin Breaux broke up three or four passes, forced an interception and picked off another pass himself. Willie Snead is on the cusp of 1,000 yards, and Brandin Cooks is on the verge of becoming a star. And strong safety Kenny Vaccaro has continued to play well and deserves praise for his efforts. The team might not be very good, but there are bright spots on the roster.

3. FINAL THOUGHTS

The season might be over for them, but the Saints will head to Atlanta next week looking to finish with a 7-9 record. If the way this team fought back against Detroit and Sunday’s performances are any indication, there’s absolutely zero chance this team doesn’t give maximum effort. It’s not in these guys’ DNA. They’re going to fight it out to the end. So while that means the chances of getting a top-10 pick are probably now ruined, it says a lot about this team and its character. These are traits you can build on. New Orleans just needs more talent.