Monday, 06 December 2010 14:56

Brees Acts, Passes New Orleans Saints Past Bengals

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Drew Brees is now an actor and the Saints escaped losing to one of the NFL's worst teams by edging the Cincinnati Bengals (2-10) 34-30 on Sunday in freezing weather at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

The Falcons (10-2) got past Tampa Bay (7-5) on Sunday and lead the Saints (9-3) by a game.

Brees led the Saints on a valiant fourth-quarter, seven-play 68-yard drive, ending with a three-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston. It was the fifth straight victory for the Saints and the ninth straight loss for the Bengals, last season's AFC North champs.

"I was proud that we hung in there despite falling behind," said Saints coach Sean Payton. "But the penalties were still way too much -- 11 for 100 yards is awful. We did some good things, but we still have a lot to correct." Guard Jabri Evans drew a holding penalty and leads the NFL in holding calls with 10.

"We need to clean up the penalties and some of the other foolish stuff with 11 penalties. Those continue the drives for the other team and limit ours."

Down by three, the Saints drove down to a fourth-and-2 at the Bengals' 7 yard line with 34 seconds remaining, A field goal would have set up overtime.

The Saints called timeout and decided to run a gambit aptly called "No-Brainer Freeze." The Saints line up as if they're going to snap it and try to draw the Bengals offside. If it doesn't work, they let the play clock run out, take the five-yard penalty and send in kicker Garrett Hartley.

Brees moved around in the backfield, trying to get the Bengals' nerves on edge. He settled under the center and, with the play clock under 10 seconds, starting calling signals as the crowd of 59,963 screamed.

"That's a very realistic situation for us," said Brees, "We're not going to snap it if we can get them to jump."

To the surprise of the fans on both sidelines, that's exactly what happened.

"Drew did a great job with the snap count and tried to create the illusion we were going for it, when really we're just going to let the time run out," said Payton.

Hollywood directors may be calling Brees after they see the film of this play.

Bengals lineman Pat Sims bought the Brees act, jumping across the line for a penalty that gave the Saints a first down. Then Brees threw for the winning touchdown.{sidebar id=4}

"What is that guy doing," screamed Saints defensive tackle Kendrick Ellis after seeing the lineman jump across the line. "You have to be smarter than that."

BENGALS CHATTER: Wide receiver Terrell Owens (On lack of Bengals' lack of aggressiveness in play-calling) "I  just think that, coming here this year, with the opportunities that presented themselves with myself and Chad (Ochocinco), we could be a little more aggressive. That's what I've thrived on all my career. There are times when I'm not the No. 1 option, but considering the things that I've done this year, I present match up problems."

(On being frustrated) "Everybody's frustrated, bit I feel like i can be part of the solution as well.   Go   back and watch the film. I can play the game. There ain't nobody I feel can stop me when I'm out there. That's just confidence, it's not arrogance.

"Everybody can listen to what I say and say that I'm arrogant and that I'm trying to to create some controversy or distraction. It's not a distraction. When there are opportunities one-on-one, I can exploit those matchups."

Coach Marvin Lewis (On the Bengals jumping across the line at the end) "I showed the guys that on tape. It was about the fourth or fifth play I showed them on Wednesday. To me, it's pressing more than anything."

Defensive tackle Pat Sims (On jumping across the line) "I was looking at the ball, but I thought my man's inside foot had moved so I jumped a little bit. But I was still kind of in my stance so I don't understand them saying I was offside.

"My pushoff foot came up, but it wasn't like I was all the way over the line. That's a crazy call, If you go across the line even though you don't touch the man, man even if the man and do move it shouldn't be no offside."

Quarterback Carson Palmer (On the loss) "You start thinking about the winning feeling and you start feeling like you're close to a win. Then when it gets taken away, it's just frustrating."

SAINTS CHATTER: Coach Sean Payton (On Marvin Mitchell running onto the field even though the Saints already had 11 players on the field) "That's the $6 million question. We had 11 on, we're good. We got somebody shouting supposedly. Anyway, the bottom line is it was crazy, and I'm not going to put it on Marvin. The point is we had 11 on the field and a 12th coming in, and we've got to be smarter than that."

Quarterback Drew Brees (On the Saints being fortunate to win) "We were fortunate to win. It comes down to them jumping offside. Who knows what would have happened if the game went into overtime.

(On the 11 penalties) "We had 11 penalties for 100 yards. That's not winning football. That's losing football. We lost the turnover battle, and most of the time that will get you beat."

Safety Roman Harper (On the game) "We didn't play well, we had a lot of penalties."

Wide receiver Robert Meachem (On the Saints hanging in there) "Our mindset was that this was going to be a battle. This is five in a row. Nothing is easy and we  just hung in there and gave ourselves the chance at the end."

Guard Jahri Evans (On pulling the Bengals offside at the end): "We weren't budging on that play. We made it look like a hard play when we sent David Thomas in motion and Drew gave a really hard count."

Guard Carl Nicks (On pulling the Bengals offside) "Had I remained still the penalty on Sims wouldn't have been called. Brees went to the cadence about three times, so I didn't think they were gonna do it. And then Sims flinched, so I just took off. He was on me, so it had to be me."

Center Jonathan Goodwin (On that play) "I'm instructed on that play to never snap the ball period. Basically, it was a hard count and we (offensive line) all know what to do if the defensive tackle or an end jumps."


A commemorative keepsake book, "The Black & Gold Party Gras," has been published featuring the spirit of the Saints' spirited fans, the Who Dat Nation.

The book, published by Party Gras Enterprises,LLC,  is 176 pages with more than 675 photos. The book features the Buddy D dress parade, Mystic Crew of Barkus parade, Lombradi Gras victory celebration, Mardi Gras revelry and Saints-inspired costumes,signs,craft and collectibles.

'Black & Gold Party Gras chronicles greatest celebration'

It was the greatest celebration ever in America's most celebrated party town.
Pigs are flying and hell had frozen over. The Saints were going to the Super Bowl and just as remarkably, people across the country were saying "Who Dat."  And when the heroes came marching home with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, just   as the festivity of Carnival was nearing its climax, the stage was set for something truly extraordinary" Black & Gold Party Gras.

The revelry surrounding the Saints and their fans, know collectively as the Who Dat Nation, is now the subject of a rollicking,176-page book  chronicling the happiest time in the rambunctious spirit of the Who Dat Nation. With more than 675 photos taken by six different photographers, it brings back special memories of communal solidarity and euphoria inspired by a team with a long history of struggling to reward the devotion bestowed upon it.

Published by Party Gras Enterprises, LLC, the book is a commemorative keepsake in words and pictures, aimed squarely at what is arguably the most passionate, irreverent and flamboyant 'tribe" in sports. Fundamentally, the book is about Who Dats having fun (with everything explained for the benefit of those who might not grasp the cultural nuances underlying the confluence of a Saints Super bowl and the city's most distinctive ritual, Mardi Gras.

"I'd say we all feel a compulsion to document what makes New Orleans special and share our love of the city and its idiosyncrasies with anyone willing to pay the slightest attention," said book author Graham Button. "We're most grateful to the Saints for having made possible this 100 per cent positive representation of New Orleans."

"There have been other books that have done a commendable job of telling the story of the championship Saints," said book photographer Ray Broussard. "What makes our book different is its focus on the Who Dats. Our mission is to give the Who Dat Nation its due, while documenting for posterity a remarkable time in the history of the city."

For information go to

by Ed Staton

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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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