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

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:33a

Buffalo Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis are alternating series with the second unit in team drills Tuesday, July 22.

Tyler BrayJul 22 09:13a

Kansas City Chiefs QBs Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel are likely to compete for one roster spot with QB Aaron Murray likely to make the team behind starting QB Alex Smith.

Navorro BowmanJul 22 12:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Jacques McClendonJul 21 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars OG Jacques McClendon is the frontrunner to start at right guard heading into training camp, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. OG Brandon Linder is the other candidate for the starting job.

Aaron ColvinJul 21 10:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin (knee) will begin training camp and the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate [ More ]

Jeromy MilesJul 21 10:03p

Baltimore Ravens S Jeromy Miles has seen some reps with the first-team defense this offseason and is a dark horse candidate to win the starting free safety job, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

Brandon MosleyJul 21 09:43p

New York Giants OT Brandon Mosley will be given the first chance to start in place of OG Chris Snee when the first-team offensive line takes the field Tuesday, [ More ]

T.J. GrahamJul 21 09:23p

Buffalo Bills WR T.J. Graham had a pass fall through his hands after beating his defender on a deep route in camp Monday, July 21.ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Graham [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsJul 21 09:02p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins made several big plays in practice Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Watkins beat CB Leodis McKelvin deep, hauled in a pass [ More ]

Marvin JonesJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder), WR Marvin Jones (ankle) and CB Onterio McCalebb (knee) have been placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

Devon StillJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Clint Boling (knee), LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring), P Kevin Huber (neck), WR Colin Lockett (hamstring), DT Zach Minter (back), DT Devon Still (back) and WR Ryan [ More ]

Cordy GlennJul 21 06:53p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) does not have a timetable for his return at this point, according to head coach Doug Marrone. 'I don't know that. It's a [ More ]

Mike CaussinJul 21 06:43p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent TE Mike Caussin (Bills). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived LS Kyle Nelson.

Cheta OzougwuJul 21 06:32p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) and DT John Jenkins (pectoral) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Brennan WilliamsJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans OT Brennan Williams (undisclosed) has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Brian CushingJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Eric HaggJul 21 06:13p

Denver Broncos SS Eric Hagg has informed the team that he has decided to retire from professional football.

Dominique EasleyJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots DT Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and OT Chris Martin have been placed on the team's non-football injury list.

Alfonzo DennardJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed), DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) will begin training camp on [ More ]

Leon HallJul 21 05:12p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and CB Leon Hall (Achilles') will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

Jon BeasonJul 21 05:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

John JerryJul 21 05:02p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) will be limited when training camp starts.

Kraig UrbikJul 21 04:33p

Buffalo Bills OT Chris Hairston and OG Kraig Urbik saw first-team repetitions at right guard Monday, July 21.

Dezmon BriscoeJul 21 04:03p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent WR Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins), according to his agent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phillip HuntJul 21 03:12p

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Phillip Hunt (knee) has recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and should begin workouts with teams in the near future.

Chris ConteJul 21 02:12p

Chicago Bears FS Chris Conte said he feels good as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but is unsure of his availability for the start of training camp. He could [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuJul 21 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) are candidates to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

David WilsonJul 21 01:42p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) should be able to help the offense if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, according to former offensive coordinator [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 21 01:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OG Chris Snee has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Garrett CelekJul 21 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers TEs Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek will compete for the No. 3 tight end spot during training camp.

De'Anthony ThomasJul 21 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB De'Anthony Thomas spent most of his time with the running backs during practice Monday, July 21. Thomas run a lot of passing routes out of [ More ]

Christopher OwensJul 21 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee), WR A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, July 21.

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