By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief
Brandin Cooks will have a spectacular homecoming.
The new Patriot and former Saint will score five touchdowns in a 48-17 romp in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday.
It will be the speedy wide receiver’s first game in the Superdome since the Saints traded him March 11 to the Patriots for two draft picks.
Cooks joined the Saints as a first-round pick from Oregon State in 2014.
He is coming off back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons and caught 17 touchdown passes the past two years, including receptions of 98 and 87 yards in 2016.
Cooks had three receptions for 88 yards and no touchdowns in his first game for the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots in their 2017 opener Sept. 7, a 42-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
His homecoming Sunday will be spectacular because the Saints are two games under .500 in the Superdome since 2014 and have a 1-10 record in September.
The Saints play no defense and the Patriots have plenty of offense. To steal a line from Cliff Kirkland, the Saints think defense is something that goes around dee house, as in dee-fence, and the Patriots will have an easy time knocking down that dee-fence.
Brandin Cooks will finish with eight receptions for 177 yards and four touchdowns, and score a fifth on a 65-yard run.
No way Tom Brady and the Patriots are going 0-2.
Yes way Drew Brees and the Saints are going 0-2, perhaps on their way to 0-16.
The Saints will also be 0-2 in homecoming games this season. The first loss was running back Adrian Peterson’s forgettable return to Minnesota.
You know, the six carries for 18 yards in his first game as a Saint after 11,765 yards rushing and 102 touchdowns in 10 seasons with the Vikings.
The Patriots will go into the game with just three wide receivers. The team ruled out Danny Amendola (concussion/knee) and Matthew Slater (hamstring), this on top of Super Bowl hero Julian Edelman out for the season with a torn ACL.
No problem. Cooks is in.
Editor’s note: The image at the top of this post is a screen grab from Cooks’ Instagram account after he was traded from the Saints to the Patriots in March. “My love for you all is deep,” Cooks said in this good-bye to New Orleans.