Monday, 29 August 2011 17:14

New Orleans Saints v. Oakland Raiders: Brees, Ingram Offense Sharp, Defense Flat

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Drew BreesDrew Brees rebooted his offense as the Saints knocked off the defenseless Raiders 40-20 on Sunday Night Football at Oakland in Week 3 of preseason.  However, the New Orleans Saints defense played flat.

Brees, in three long drives, led the Saints (2-1) to a touchdown, touchdown and short field goal. He took apart a Raiders (0-3) defense. The Saints rolled up 514 yards of total offense including 388 passing. The also converted 9-of-15 (60 per cent) of their third-down conversions.

 Brees finished 15-of-23 for 189 yards in passing and converted 6-of-9 third-down conversions.

Chase Daniel replaced Brees late in the second quarter and was 9-of-18 for 191 yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders' second- and third-team defenses.

"There are some mistakes and some things you could have done better, but for the most part, I was pleased with what we able to accomplish," said Brees. "The third preseason game is the one where the starters get a majority of the playing time.

"It's really a dress rehearsal going into the regular season, so you definitely want to leave the game feeling good about where you are, even though we have almost two weeks of preparation prior to playing Green Bay."

"Drew had good tempo," said Saints coach Sean Payton. "We were getting out of the huddle quicker than we have been and that is something that we have been pretty good at. We were back at that tempo."

The Saints defense experienced trouble stopping the run, a major problem for the team the past two seasons. The coach didn't see it that way and said, "I thought we battled well. We had great energy to the ball."

Tight end Jimmy Graham lined up all over the field while catching 5 passes for 73 yards in the first half. The Saints have great depth in their receivers.

The Saints running backs group enjoyed a productive evening. Pierre Thomas started and rushed 3 times for 9 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown leap over the goal line.  Rookie Mark Ingram scored a touchdown for the third straight game on a 1-yard touchdown run. He also had 2 catches for 24 yards. Darren Sproles had 3 carries for 14 yards.

Ingram fired a ball at a Black Hole sign in the back of the end zone after scoring his touchdown. The game was blacked out in the Bay Area because the Coliseum wasn't sold out.

In the second half, Joique Bell in his return following a knee injury that caused him to miss the second game, had 6 carries for 50 yards and 2 catches for 92 yards, including a screen pass from Daniel where he broke several tackles in rambling down the sideline for a 60-yard gain. Bell also had a 1-yard TD dive on the last play of of the third quarter that lifted the Saints lead to 32-20.

Daniel threw a 3-yard TD pass to tight end Tory Humphrey. He threw 39 yards to wide receiver Adrian Arrington for a TD that made it 40-20.

The Saints have given up a combined 491 yards in rushing to the 49ers and Raiders, a 5.6-yard average per carry.

The Saints missed tackles and weren’t not getting to the quarterback without blitzing.

Defensiveordinator Gregg Williams needs to motivate defensive tackle Shaun Rogers to play harder.

Without a dominating defense, the Saints can beat teams like San Francisco and Oakland not teams like Green Bay.

The Saints wind up their preseason against the Titans on Thursday night in the Superdome. The following Thursday, they oppose the Packers at Lambeau Field. in the NFL's opening game.

SAINTS NOTEBOOK: CB Jabari Greer led the Saints in tackles with 5... DE Junior Gallette recovered a fumbled snap that gave the Saints' offense possession at the Oakland 38, which helped set up the 38-yard TD pass...DT Aubrayo Franklin, S Roman Harper and WR Lance Morris were inactive for this game. Franklin's return will be a big boost to the defense stopping the run. OT Zach Streif has the starting RT job sewed up. Charles Brown didn't enjoy a good game against the Raiders...Former Saints S Chip Vaughn was cut by the Bears...

Patrick Robinson started in Tracy Porter's cornerback spot against the Raiders, and Porter returned to his first action (knee) of the preseason playing in nickle situations only. Porter

by Ed Staton

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had a rough moment when he was able to keep his footing on the infield that allowed Raiders receiver Derek Hagan to score for a 33-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Porter also missed a tackle. He is expected to be at full speed for the opening game on Sept. 8...Trivia time: Tulane was forced to postpone its opening football game of the 1974 season because of a hurricane. Name the hurricane, the opponent and the significance of the game...

Good news for the Raiders: They won't have to face Drew Brees and his receivers every week in the regular season. The Raiders offense played better than it did last week against the 49ers defense while the Saints defense looked no better than it did last two seasons. Maybe the Raiders can figure out how they can get quarterback Tyrelle Pryor to play defense...Trivia answer: The hurricane was Carmen and coach Bennie Ellender's Green Wave lost to Ole  Miss 26-10 in the final game ever played in old Tulane Stadium...Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will be on one the top tight ends picked in the upcoming fantasy football drafts...


Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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