Found November 19, 2012 on Fox Sports:
For a team whose recent history includes a Super Bowl title and playoff runs, reaching.500 midway through November would seem like a modest goal. After the way this season started for the New Orleans Saints, it was a cause for celebration. Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes and Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception for another score to help the Saints get back to even after an 0-4 start by beating the Oakland Raiders 38-17 on Sunday. ''It's been a journey,'' said tight end Jimmy Graham, who caught Brees' first TD pass. ''It's been an uphill battle to be .500. I never thought I'd be so happy to be .500 in my entire career. We're excited because things are moving the right way for us.'' Lance Moore caught two touchdown passes and Mark Ingram ran for a score as the Saints (5-5) won for the fifth time in six games and are in position to make a late-season playoff run despite the season-long distraction from the bounty scandal. Getting back to even was just the first step. New Orleans' next three games come against teams currently in first place, starting with a home game next week against the Bay Area's other team, the San Francisco 49ers, followed by games against Atlanta and the New York Giants. ''We're on our way,'' Brees said. ''Had you told us or anybody after 0-4 we'd be looking at 5-5 at some point, I think a lot of people might have looked at that and said that's pretty unrealistic. But here we are. We stayed the course, we didn't overreact. ... We just knew that things were going to turn for us if we just continued to do things the right way, good things were going to happen. And we did that.'' The Raiders (3-7) lost their third straight game under first-year coach Dennis Allen as their banged-up defense got picked apart by Brees' precision passing. Oakland has allowed 135 points in those defeats - the most in a three-game span for the franchise since allowing 141 in the first three games in 1961. Owner Mark Davis made a rare appearance in the locker room after the game and said he wasn't happy with what he has seen the last few weeks. ''I'm patient. But I want to see progress,'' he said. ''I don't want to see regression. Nobody does. And that's why I'm unhappy today.'' Carson Palmer threw one interception that was returned for a score and another in the end zone, the Raiders left receivers open all day and Oakland struggled to tackle in another thorough beating. The Raiders have been outscored by 56 points the past two games. The Saints did just about everything starting with an efficient opening drive by Brees that set the tone for the game. Brees finished 20 for 27 for 219 yards, extending his own records by throwing a touchdown in his 53rd straight game and completing 20 passes for the 46th straight game. Even New Orleans' much-maligned defense got into the act. The Saints got the two big turnovers in the first half that got the blowout started and held Oakland to one touchdown until garbage time. ''I feel better than where we were,'' said safety Roman Harper, who had the interception in the end zone. ''We're making plays now. We're making turnovers, we're making big plays. We're not allowing big plays. Vitt's biggest complaints were the 11 penalties for 109 yards, including a celebration call on Jenkins and Harper after an interception and a taunting penalty on Ingram after his score. The only bright spot for the Raiders was fullback Marcel Reece, who rushed for 103 yards and added 90 yards receiving as he started at halfback in place of injured Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson. Brees broke open a close game late in the first half when he found Moore all alone in the end zone behind Michael Huff and fill-in safety Mike Mitchell for a 38-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the first half to make it 21-7. Travaris Cadet then returned the second-half kickoff 75 yards and Ingram ran it in from the 27 on the next play and the rout was on. Brees and Moore connected one more time in third quarter to make it 35-10. ''It doesn't make you feel good,'' Allen said. ''I know we're better than that, and I know we can play better than that. And we'll continue to work, and we'll get better.'' NOTES: Brees has won his last seven starts against the Raiders with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. ... The Raiders failed to score in the final 2 minutes of the first half for the first time this season. ... Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden lit the torch honoring late Oakland owner Al Davis. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
SAINTLY ACT

Brees donating $1M to Sandy relief

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has pledged to contribute $1 million to Superstorm Sandy relief efforts, funds that will be donated through his Dream Foundation.

Brees giving $1M to Sandy relief

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees says he is donating $1 million to Superstorm Sandy relief efforts. Brees told CBS' ''Person to Person'' in an interview to air Friday that the donation will come through the Dream Foundation he runs with his wife, Brittany. He did not say who will be receiving the donation. Brees says he and his wife want to give back...

Drew Brees donates $1 million towards Hurricane Sandy relief

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced on CBS News’ special “Person To Person” that his family will be donating $1 million to help support the relief efforts for aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The broadcast Nov. 23, 2012, 10:00 PM ET, on CBS. We want to be able to give back what’s been given to us,” Drew Brees tells co-hosts Charlie Rose and Lara Logan on ...

Drew Brees More Concerned About The Rain Than The Raiders

Within a span of about six weeks, the New Orleans Saints went from pathetic to playoff contender. After knocking off the Falcons, the last of the remaining unbeaten in the NFL, the Saints carry their momentum to the Bay to take on the Oakland Raiders in the rain. NFLWeather.com forecasts a 50% of showers and [...]

Drew Brees and Wife to Donate $1 Million to Sandy Relief

Finally an athlete with not only substantial funds, but influence goes out of his way to selflessly help a cause the country desperately needs. The Brees’ will make a $1 Million donation for Hurricane Sandy relief as well as a $2 Million donation to New Orleans through their Dream Foundation, and will make the announcement on Person to Person on CBS. And the stand-up athlete of...

Saints March On, Destroy Raiders 38-17: Five Things We Learned

The New Orleans Saints hope to play again tomorrow. Well, maybe not tomorrow, but with the roll they are on, New Orleans would love to get back on the field as soon as possible. In blasting the Oakland Raiders Sunday in Oakland, the Saints have come marching in; and how!Here are five things we learned from the game on Sunday:1. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is good. He also...

Drew Brees, Wife to Appear on CBS’ ‘Person to Person,’ Commit Millions Towards Sandy Relief Efforts

Drew Brees won a Super Bowl with New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, so he knows a thing or two about how natural disasters can affect people. On an upcoming episode of the CBS special Person to Person, Brees and his wife, Brittany, will announce that they plan to personally commit $1 million towards Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in the northeast, while their Brees...

Back in contention, Saints brace for tough stretch

Defensive end Cam Jordan says the Saints may have surprised others but not themselves by rattling off five victories in six games to get back to .500 after an 0-4 start. Jordan says that with Drew Brees at quarterback and talent across the roster, the Saints expected to overcome early-season struggles. New Orleans is 5-5, one game behind three teams tied for the last NFC wild-card...

Saints Overcoming All Odds and Opponents, As Drew Brees and Co. Still Have Playoff Aspirations

As Louis Armstrong began belting out the sweet sounds of “When the Saints Go Marching In” on his brass trumpet for the first time back in the 1930s, he wasn’t paying tribute to a football team — especially seeing as the franchise wasn’t even established until 1967. And in the first few weeks of the 2012, there was little question about which direction the football Saints...

Saints 38, Raiders 17

OAKLAND -- Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes, leading the red-hot New Orleans Saints to their third consecutive victory Sunday, a 38-17 rout of the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Saints improved to 5-5 and continued their climb back into playoff contention after an 0-4 start. The Raiders continued streaking in the wrong direction, losing their third straight game...

Saints Nation: Offensive Player Grades @ Raiders

The Saints were both efficient and balanced on offense in this game. 28 passes, 28 rushes. They passed for 229 at 8.2 yards per pass (thanks to 75% completions) and rushed for 153 yards at 5.5 yards a pop. The last few weeks they've gotten away from Brees throwing for 400+ yards in the interest of balance, and it's made them more explosive. This was another all around impressive...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.