2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to know after Saints paste Panthers 31-13

By BRETT MARTEL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-09 02:19

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Drew Brees often makes the extraordinary look routine, particularly during night games in the Superdome.

Sometimes even the best defenses don't stand a chance. Carolina's didn't on Sunday night, when the Saints rolled to a 31-13 triumph in which New Orleans took back sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

The Panthers hadn't given up more than two touchdowns in a game all season and ranked first in scoring defense, but Brees passed for three scores in the second quarter alone and finished with four during a 30-completion, 313-yard outing.

In the process, Brees became only fifth quarterback in NFL history to eclipse 50,000 career yards. The milestone was acknowledged with an announcement over the Superdome sound system, with Brees nodding and smiling after seeing his face on stadium video boards.

Saints coach Sean Payton was amused by how matter-of-fact it all seemed, and ribbed Brees about it in the locker room during his postgame speech.

''We were kidding him in there that a lot of places, if the quarterback hits 50,000 yards, they would have fireworks, stop the game,'' Payton said. ''To be in that class ... really hits on his consistency, his durability, his availability, along with his skill set. We are happy for him, obviously proud of him.''

The Panthers, meanwhile, saw their eight-game winning streak come to a humbling halt.

Not only was their defense carved up like never before this season, but their offense struggled to move the ball.

Cam Newton was sacked five times and finished 22 of 34 for only 160 yards, his second-lowest passing total of the season.

Carolina (9-4) will have a chance to redeem itself when it hosts New Orleans (10-3) on Dec. 22.

''We have to learn from it,'' Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. ''We still have a lot of football left to play and a lot still left on the line.''

Here are five things we learned from the Saints demolition of the Panthers:

MOVING ON: The Saints proved they could put a bad game to bed quickly and regroup. Last Monday night, they were pounded 34-7 in Seattle then had a flight delay, further compressing their preparations for Carolina. By the time Sunday night arrived, the Saints looked like the same dominant team they've been all year at home, where they are 7-0.

TOUGH LOVE: The Panthers showed they are as vulnerable as any team to a lopsided loss - at least in a tough road environment. They were disappointed, but hardly devastated. They look at the way the Saints bounced back from their loss to the Seahawks and expect to do the same.

''Some tough love and us getting hit in the mouth might not be the worst thing in the world, as moving forward these games for us are going to get bigger and bigger,'' Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross said. ''The sky isn't falling.''

CLUTCH COLSTON: Now in his eighth season, former seventh-round draft choice Marques Colston continues to prove he can be a difference maker against top defenses. He led all receivers with nine catches for 125 yards and two TDs. Payton said the only reason Colston doesn't have such numbers more often is because how the Saints spread the ball around to multiple targets.

''The way we utilize receivers doesn't help in regards to postseason accolades ... but I'm glad we have him,'' Payton said.

SETTLING: Carolina may need to sharpen its red zone execution. The Panthers moved the ball well in the first quarter, twice reaching the New Orleans 20, only to settle for field goals. A sack stalled one drive and Newton threw an incompletion on third-and-goal from the 6 on another.

''Playing a team like (the Saints), field goals just aren't going to cut it,'' Newton said. ''We are just going to have to come back (Monday) and watch the film and get a lot better at that.''

PRESSURING PAIR: The Saints appear to have their best pass rush off the edge in years thanks to third-year pro Cameron Jordan and fourth-year player Junior Galette, who've combined for 20 sacks. Jordan's two sacks gave him 11 this season, making him the first Saint with double-digit sacks since Will Smith in 2009. Galette sacked Newton three times to bring his total to a career-high nine.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

LaMichael JamesJul 21 11:46a

San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James could have trouble making the roster this year, according to ESPN.com's Bill Williamson. Williamson believes RB Frank Gore, RB Carlos Hyde, RB Marcus [ More ]

Ray-Ray ArmstrongJul 21 11:42a

St. Louis Rams LB Ray Ray Armstrong has impressed coaches and was already poised to push for an expanded role before LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar's arrest. Armstrong could have an [ More ]

Jairus ByrdJul 21 11:12a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd's (back) recovery from back surgery has gone as expected. However, it's unknown if he'll be limited at the start of training camp.

Christine MichaelJul 21 11:05a

Seattle Seahawks RB Christine Michael's work this spring has done nothing to dismiss the thought that he will receive regular carries this season. It's still not known how many [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 21 11:03a

New York Giants rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. is viewed as an outside receiver despite standing just 5-foot-11, and he might push WR Rueben Randle for the No. 2 job opposite WR Victor Cruz.

Rashad JenningsJul 21 11:02a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings is still considered the lead running back, despite RB David Wilson's (neck) clearance for contact.

Justin HunterJul 21 11:02a

Tennessee Titans WR Justin Hunter is drawing big comparisons to retired WR Randy Moss from WR Michael Preston. 'Not only is the sky the limit, I think he's going [ More ]

Jeremy HillJul 21 10:44a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill could split carries with RB Giovani Bernard this upcoming season and receive over 200 carries, in the opinion of Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson.

Marcell DareusJul 21 10:42a

Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus has drawn the ire of Bills general manager Doug Whaley after reporting to camp out of shape. 'It's cause for concern,' Whaley said. 'You [ More ]

Demetrius HarrisJul 21 10:41a

Kansas City Chiefs TE Demetrius Harris looks like a player ready to contribute this season, according to head coach Andy Reid. Meanwhile, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com believes Harris could [ More ]

Dante RosarioJul 21 10:36a

Chicago Bears TE Dante Rosario is the leading candidate to be the team's No. 2 tight end this year, according to Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com. TE Matthew Mulligan, TE [ More ]

David WilsonJul 21 10:32a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said that he has been cleared for everything.

Joseph RandleJul 21 10:30a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the inside track to win the No. 3 running back job, and would likely take over the every-down role if something were to happen to RB DeMarco Murray.

Joe McKnightJul 21 08:22a

Kansas City Chiefs RB Joe McKnight (knee) had arthroscopic knee surgery after minicamp ended last month and is close to returning to practice.

Chad HenneJul 21 03:12a

Although the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff is still high on QB Chad Henne, coach Gus Bradley said QB Blake Bortles could start a preseason game. It would be late [ More ]

Dee MillinerJul 20 11:42p

New York Jets CB Dee Milliner can become a shutdown corner in the NFL, according to head coach Rex Ryan. 'I think he's got a chance to be,' Ryan [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 20 11:32p

Buffalo Bills LB Brandon Spikes started at middle linebacker Sunday, July 20, in place of LB Kiko Alonso (knee). LB Keith Rivers and LB Nigel Bradham started alongside Spikes [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 20 09:52p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (elbow) will announce his retirement Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Dan Graziano.

EJ ManuelJul 20 09:52p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel went 4-for-4 on passes to WR Sammy Watkins during team drills Sunday, July 20.

S. HendersonJul 20 09:42p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) suffered a hip injury Sunday, July 20, and his status going forward is not yet known.

Marquise GoodwinJul 20 09:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (undisclosed) missed practice Sunday, July 20, after dealing with a medical issue. He is expected to return to practice tomorrow, according to Joe Buscaglia of WGR Sports Radio 550.

Marcell DareusJul 20 06:22p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus failed his conditioning test, which is why he was put on the inactive list.

Bradie EwingJul 20 05:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars FB Bradie Ewing will battle FB Will Ta'ufo'ou for the starting fullback spot in camp.

Storm JohnsonJul 20 05:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Storm Johnson will enter camp as the fourth running back, but the team is excited about his potential. 'Storm is going to run at the same [ More ]

Jordan TodmanJul 20 05:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Jordan Todman is viewed as a change-of-pace back, along with RB Denard Robinson, according to offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. 'Those two guys are truly change-of-pace backs,' [ More ]

Michael BowieJul 20 05:02p

Seattle Seahawks OT Michael Bowie has had an uneven spring with coaches saying he could have been in better shape. He'll compete with OT Justin Britt at right tackle.

Tharold SimonJul 20 04:52p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jordan Hill, DT Jesse Williams and CB Tharold Simon will take on larger roles in their second season in 2014. Hill could be a potential starter in nickel packages.

Zach MillerJul 20 04:52p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson will be TE Zach Miller's backup this season, but he's likely to see increased playing time.

Jo-Lonn DunbarJul 20 03:12p

St. Louis Rams LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar and NBA free-agent Donte Greene were arrested Sunday, July 20, for fighting with each other outside the Dream Nightclub in Miami Beach, Fla. [ More ]

Tom CoughlinJul 20 10:32a

New York Giants owner John Mara said head coach Tom Coughlin is not on the hot seat, but also added that Coughlin has not earned the right to leave [ More ]

D.J. WilliamsJul 20 03:42a

The New England Patriots have signed free-agent TE Nate Byham (Buccaneers). Byham will likely compete with TEs Michael Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams for a chance to back up Rob Gronkowski.

Winston GuyJul 19 10:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars SS Winston Guy is considered the leading candidate for the starting free safety job but will have to compete with FS Josh Evans (foot) for the job during training camp.

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