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

Ben TateSep 30 01:23p

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate (knee) returned to practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, for the first time since spraining his right knee in the season opener Sept. 7. It means [ More ]

Niles PaulSep 30 01:13p

Washington Redskins TE Niles Paul (concussion) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, and remains in the league's concussion protocol. However, head coach Jay Gruden said Paul is 'making very good progress.'

Mason FosterSep 30 01:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (shoulder) is improving, but he is not sure if he will be available to play in the team's Week 5 game. Getting a [ More ]

Bruce CarterSep 30 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (quadriceps) isn't expected to miss a significant amount of time, but he's not expected to play in Week 5 against the Houston Texans. The [ More ]

Jon GrudenSep 30 12:53p

The Oakland Raiders may look at free-agent head coach Jon Gruden for their head coaching vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The team is looking for a [ More ]

Tom BradySep 30 12:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady and the offense struggled mightily in a 41-14 thrashing by the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4 Monday, Sept. 29, and head coach [ More ]

Trent WilliamsSep 30 12:33p

Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams (knee) and OG Shawn Lauvao (knee) both were held out of practice Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Jalil BrownSep 30 12:13p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent CB Jalil Brown (Dolphins) to their active roster Tuesday, Sept. 30. WR Chandler X. Jones (Browns) and LB Rob Ruggiero (Colts) were signed to the practice squad.

Robert MathisSep 30 12:13p

Indianapolis Colts LB Robert Mathis was signed to a contract extension through the 2016 season Tuesday, Sept. 30. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Bishop SankeySep 30 10:43a

Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey's footwork was a little better in Week 4, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Carson PalmerSep 30 10:03a

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) said the nerve in his shoulder hasn't progressed as much as he'd hoped, but he thinks he could prove capable of starting.

Nick FolesSep 30 09:53a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles has completed 25.6 percent of his throws over 20 yards this season. He is on pace to make 156 attempts of 20 or more [ More ]

Chris RaineySep 30 08:53a

Free-agent RB Chris Rainey (Cardinals) signed an undisclosed deal with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

Knile DavisSep 30 12:12a

Kansas City Cheifs RB Knile Davis rushed for a team-high 107 yards on 16 carries in Week 5 and added one catch for 12 yards.

Brandon LaFellSep 29 11:53p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell had a team-high six receptions for a game-high 119 yards and a touchdown in the Week 4 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiSep 29 11:53p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski hauled in two receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown in the Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs Monday, Sept. 29. [ More ]

Travis KelceSep 29 11:43p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce had eight catches on nine targets for a season-high 93 yards and a touchdown Monday, Sept. 29.

Dennis AllenSep 29 11:43p

The Oakland Raiders called head coach Dennis Allen Monday, Sept. 29, to inform him he has been relieved of his head coaching duties.

Donnie AverySep 29 11:13p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) has been ruled out for the remainder of the team's Week 5 game with a groin injury.

Tom BradySep 29 11:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 14 of his 23 pass attempts for 159 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the Week 4 loss against the Kansas [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonSep 29 11:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (knee) missed practice Monday, Sept. 29, and are not expected to play in Week 5.

Vontaze BurfictSep 29 10:52p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion) did not practice Monday, Sept. 29, but is expected to play in the team's Week 5 game, according to head coach Marvin Lewis.

Marvin JonesSep 29 10:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (foot) is expected to return in Week 5, and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said he 'can't wait' to use Jones in the offense.

Teddy BridgewaterSep 29 09:47p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) did not participate in practice Monday, Sept. 29. QB Christian Ponder worked with the first-team offense during practice.

Geno SmithSep 29 09:47p

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan publicly remained supportive of QB Geno Smith Monday, Sept. 29. He said he talked to the quarterback about his incident with yelling [ More ]

Donald BrownSep 29 09:23p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown and RB Branden Oliver combined for 42 yards on 29 carries in Week 4, and although head coach Mike McCoy bashed the running [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (toe) is not injured, head coach Chip Kelly said Monday, Sept. 29. 'He's not on the treatment list,' Kelly said. [ More ]

Vernon DavisSep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (back) had a 'positive mindset' Monday, Sept. 29, but general manager Trent Baalke said the extent of his injury is 'not fully known.'

Stevan RidleySep 29 09:13p

New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley was on the field for just one of his team's seven offensive snaps in the first quarter Monday, Sept. 29, in the Week [ More ]

Roddy WhiteSep 29 09:03p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White said he expects the team to be involved in high-scoring shootouts all year, and head coach Mike Smith agreed to an extent. 'I don't [ More ]

David NelsonSep 29 08:13p

New York Jets WR David Nelson (ankle) suffered an ankle injury in Week 4, and the signing of WR Chris Owusu could be an indication Nelson's injury is significant. [ More ]

Frank AlexanderSep 29 08:03p

The Carolina Panthers reinstated DE Frank Alexander Monday, Sept. 29, after he served his four-game suspension. He won't count toward the 53-man roster limit for one week.

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