2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Brees, Saints set records, torch Cowboys 49-17

By BRETT MARTEL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-11 04:10

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Sean Payton had a choice to make.

The Saints coach could elect to punt on fourth-and-5 from the Dallas 42, or he could try to get the one last first down New Orleans needed to set an NFL record.

Only two minutes remained and victory was assured, so Payton figured he couldn't deny his players a chance to make history.

He called for a run behind right guard Jahri Evans, and Pierre Thomas powered for the 5 yards the Saints needed for their 40th first down in a 49-17 demolition of the Cowboys.

The play typified how New Orleans' offense had its way with Dallas' beleaguered defense all night.

''To come in a win like this, it's fun,'' Saints quarterback Drew Brees said of the single-game first-down record. ''It says a lot about just today. Today was extremely efficient, both in the run and the pass.''

Brees completed 83 percent of his passes (34 of 41) for 392 yards and four touchdowns. New Orleans also piled up 242 yards rushing, the most since they gained 249 yards on the ground at Cincinnati in 1990.

New Orleans' 625 yards were a franchise record for a regular season game, eclipsed only by their 626 yards in a playoff win over Detroit two seasons ago.

''I thought we got into a pretty good tempo and I thought we had a pretty good plan going in,'' Payton said. ''It's important for us to have that balance. ... The offensive line did a good job.''

Dallas, by contrast, was frustrated offensively against a Saints defense that has turned around dramatically under new coordinator Rob Ryan, who was fired by the Cowboys after last season.

''You have to give them credit for outplaying us and kicking our tails real good,'' Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. ''Obviously, we have to play a lot better moving forward.''

Here are five reasons why the Saints (7-2) cruised to the victory they needed to maintain sole possession of first place in the NFC South, and why Dallas (5-5) has dropped into a tie with Philadelphia for the NFC East lead:

PRIME-TIME SAINTS: The Saints haven't lost a night game in the Superdome for more than three seasons now, winning 12 straight home games in prime time, including a pair of playoff victories.

Dallas was the last team to beat the Saints in the dome at night on Dec. 19, 2009. Since then, and Saints have treated national television audiences to some memorable performances. Those included the night Brees broke Dan Marino's nearly three-decade-old record for yards passing in a season, and the night he broke Johnny Unitas' record for consecutive games with a TD pass.

In one stretch against Dallas, Brees completed 19 straight passes, tying personal and franchise marks.

DEFENSIVE DIFFICULTY: Dallas had to start the game without one of their top defensive linemen when tackle Jason Hatcher was ruled out with a neck injury. During the game, the Cowboys' leading tackler, linebacker Sean Lee, left with a hamstring pull. Then defensive end DeMarcus Ware re-aggravated his quadriceps injury.

The 625 total yards the Cowboys gave up was a franchise record, eclipsing a mark set just two weeks earlier, when Dallas gave up 623 yards to Detroit. The performance dropped Dallas to last in the NFL in total defense.

INGRAM'S DESIRE: Most of Mark Ingram's first three seasons have been defined by nagging injuries and unmet expectations. The former Heisman Trophy winner produced in flashes but never had a 100-yard game - until Sunday night. Ingram smashed his career high of 91 yards by gaining 145 to go with a short TD run. More impressively, he did it on only 14 carries.

''He was a man on a mission today,'' Brees said. ''This is kind of just breaking the seal for what he's capable of.''

SLOWED STARS: Dallas didn't just struggle on defense against the Saints. Star receiver Dez Bryant, covered mostly by Keenan Lewis, did not have his first and only catch - a 44-yarder - until late in the third quarter. Jason Witten was held to two catches for 27 yards. Romo was 10 of 24 for season-low 128 yards and was sacked three times.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called the performance of his team ''embarrassing,'' adding, ''The real issue now is what are we going to do about it?''

BETTER BLOCKING: The Saints' offensive line has been the subject of significant scrutiny this season. The Saints' running game was 26th in the league entering Week 10 and Brees had been sacked 20 times. But Brees was sacked only once by Dallas, and that same offensive line got a lot of credit from teammates for the club's success both running and passing.

Brees termed his linemen's performance ''phenomenal,'' adding, ''Every one of them deserves a game ball.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sam BradfordApr 24 06:02p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota could be selected by the Philadelphia Eagles if the team could make trades with the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, according to one draft rumor. [ More ]

Chris PolkApr 24 05:42p

Philadelphia Eagles restricted free-agent RB Chris Polk's tender offer has been rescinded by the Eagles, according to a source. Polk will become an unrestricted free agent and allowed to sign with any team.

Jaiquawn JarrettApr 24 04:52p

New York Jets restricted free-agent SS Jaiquawn Jarrett signed his tender offer Friday, April 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Hakeem NicksApr 24 01:42p

Free-agent WR Hakeem Nicks (Colts) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the Tennessee Titans Friday, April 24.

Justin BlackmonApr 24 12:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon is likely done with the Jaguars if he's reinstated into the league, in the opinion of beat writer Ryan O'Halloran.

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group