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

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