2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to know from Saints-Buccaneers

By FRED GOODALL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-16 02:47

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - No one has to remind the New Orleans Saints how special Drew Brees can be in clutch situations.

He keeps showing them himself.

Shrugging off a couple of interceptions that put Tampa Bay in a position to beat his team, Brees led a last-minute drive that produced Garrett Hartley's 27-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Buccaneers 16-14 on Sunday.

``He's magical. He really is. It doesn't matter what time of the game it is, at what point in the game it is. He has belief in us. He has belief in himself,'' said tight end Jimmy Graham, who had 10 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown.

``And he knows that if you give him a minute, if you give him 30 seconds,'' Graham added, ``we all have hope on this team just because of the way we're built, the way he's built.''

Brees completed 26 of 46 passes for 322 yards. He was sacked four times and linebacker Mason Foster returned one of Tampa Bay's two interceptions 85 yards for a TD that put the Bucs ahead 14-13.

Completions of 15 yards to Graham, 8 yards to Darren Sproles and 31 yards to Marques Colston moved the Saints into position to win after Rian Lindell's 47-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left with just over a minute remaining.

``The biggest thing about our team is we're going to do what it takes to win, whether it's the offense stepping up or the defense or special teams play,'' safety Malcolm Jenkins said. ``We play complementary football, every game takes on a life of itself, and all we care about it is winning.''

Five things to know about why the Saints (2-0) are unbeaten and the Bucs (0-2) remain winless:

1. COOL BREES: Since joining the Saints in 2006, the star QB has led 22 winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime of regular season games. He was 3 for 4 for 54 yards in moving them downfield against the Bucs. The incompletion? Brees spiked the ball with 5 seconds remaining to stop the clock to allow Hartley to kick the winning field goal.

``The fact of the matter is we've worked so hard. We've conditioned ourselves to be prepared for these opportunities, and you just visualize success,'' Brees said. ``You visualize yourself making plays, so really I can say there was no doubt among our team.''

2. IMPROVED DEFENSE: Despite allowing an opponent to move down the field to kick a winning field goal in the closing seconds for the second straight week, Tampa Bay's revamped defense played well. The Bucs were last in the NFL in pass defense a year ago, but have an entirely different look - and attitude - following the offseason addition of three-time All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson, an All-Pro with San Francisco last year. They've also have a suddenly rejuvenated pass rush. Tampa Bay has nine sacks in two games after having 27 all season in 2012.

3. CLOSE, BUT ...: The Bucs lost their season opener to the New York Jets 18-17 on a field goal with 2 seconds remaining. Hartley's game-winner dropped Tampa Bay to 0-5 in games decided by three or fewer points under second-year coach Greg Schiano.

``It's tough to lose no matter (how),'' Foster said. ``You've got to tip your hat to Drew Brees and his receivers making great plays. He's a great quarterback. He's proven that over the years.''

4. SAINTS PLAY `D, TOO: Brees and a talented supporting cast on offense garner most of the attention in New Orleans, but the Saints also have done the job defensively the past two weeks. The Bucs were held to 273 yards total offense with a big chunk of that - 57 yards - coming on their last possession. The Saints forced two turnovers, with Cameron Jordan sacking Josh Freeman to create a fumble and Jenkins intercepting a pass in the third quarter.

5. WHAT'S WRONG WITH FREEMAN?: The Bucs' quarterback was 9 of 22 passing for 125 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The only scoring drive he led covered 35 yards after linebacker Dekoda Watson's interception in Saints territory. He was sacked once and had a 73-yard scoring throw to Vincent Jackson nullified by an illegal formation penalty.

``I'm going to have to look at the tape to see what's going on. It isn't just the quarterback. It's squarely on me,'' Schiano said. ``I'm the head football coach. We have to get better. It falls on me, not on anybody else.''

----

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Kapri BibbsOct 23 07:02p

The Denver Broncos have declared OG Ben Garland, RB Kapri Bibbs, OT Michael Schofield, DL Mitch Unrein, RB Montee Ball, S Omar Bolden, LB Steven Johnson inactive for Week 8.

Manti Te'oOct 23 07:02p

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Steve Williams, RB Ryan Mathews, CB Brandon Flowers, RB Donald Brown, LB Manti Te'o, LBs Jeremiah Attaochu and Cordarro Law inactive for Week 8.

Perry RileyOct 23 05:49p

Washington Redskins LB Perry Riley (knee) will start as soon as he is healthy enough to do so, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

John SullivanOct 23 05:46p

Minnesota Vikings C John Sullivan (concussion) is still in the testing phase to be cleared for a concussion, but he has not been cleared to this point. Head coach [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 23 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (bicep) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps), [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 23 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 23 05:42p

Chicago Bears DE Jared Allen (rest), S Danny McCray (knee) and WR Chris Williams (illness) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LBs Lance Briggs (ribs), Jonathan Bostic (back), CB [ More ]

Quentin GrovesOct 23 05:42p

Tennessee Titans LB Quentin Groves (ankle) and CB Coty Sensabaugh (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Ropati Pitoitua (hand) and TE Taylor Thompson (knee) were limited.

Zach MettenbergerOct 23 05:34p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger has been named the starting quarterback for Week 8, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. QB Jake Locker will serve as the backup quarterback.

Sharrif FloydOct 23 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (hernia) and S Antone Exum (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Gerald Hodges (hamstring), C John Sullivan (concussion), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle), [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 23 05:32p

New York Jets OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) [ More ]

Dashon GoldsonOct 23 05:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Jonathan Casillas (hamstring), OT Anthony Collins (knee), FS Dashon Goldson (ankle) and CB Keith Tandy [ More ]

Daryl SmithOct 23 05:22p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (wrist) and LB Daryl Smith (non-injury) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and OG Kelechi Osemele (knee) practiced in full.

Colt McCoyOct 23 05:22p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy will start Week 8, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Josh McCownOct 23 05:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Brandon ThompsonOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth (rest) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OG Clint Boling (rest) and CB Leon Hall (back) were limited, while TE Kevin Brock (neck), LB [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) sat out of practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 23.

Morgan BurnettOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers S Morgan Burnett (calf) and CB Sam Shields (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Datone Jones (ankle) was limited.

James StarksOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, after not practicing Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Thomas DavisOct 23 04:33p

Carolina Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (ankle), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), WR Philly Brown (concussion), OG Nate Chandler (thigh), OG Amini Silatolu (calf), OG Trai Turner (knee) and RB Fozzy [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 23 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (knee, ankle) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Keenan Lewis (knee, shoulder), LB Ramon Humber (ankle) and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 23 04:22p

New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas (ribs, shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

R. Griffin IIIOct 23 04:22p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is unlikely to be ready to play Monday, Oct. 27, against the Dallas Cowboys, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden said [ More ]

Mario WilliamsOct 23 04:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) and LB Ty Powell (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. WR Marcus Easley (knee) and FS Aaron Williams (neck) were [ More ]

Rashad JohnsonOct 23 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals S Rashad Johnson (knee) underwent an MRI exam on his patellar tendon Monday, Oct. 20, that came back negative. Head coach Bruce Arians said Johnson is dealing with some tendonitis.

Jack CrawfordOct 23 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Jack Crawford (calf), OT Doug Free (foot) and S Jakar Hamilton (non-injury) all did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Bruce Carter (thigh) and DE Anthony [ More ]

Alan BallOct 23 04:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Alan Ball (biceps) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, and is considered highly unlikely to play in Week 8, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Toby GerhartOct 23 03:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson will start at running back in Week 8 even if RB Toby Gerhart (foot) is active, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Gerhart will [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

John BoyettOct 23 03:32p

The Denver Broncos released FS John Boyett from their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 23.

Gosder CherilusOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts LB Erik Walden (rest) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Jack Doyle (knee) was limited during practice, while CB Darius Butler (ankle), OT Gosder [ More ]

Brice ButlerOct 23 03:22p

Oakland Raiders WR Brice Butler could receive more playing time moving forward after making a big play in each of the last two weeks. Butler said he has not [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group