Saints Make Mince Meat of Raiders

Silver, Black Can't Muster Touchdown

Drew Brees saw covered receivers left and right, then began dancing away from pressure when he spotted Reggie Bush over the middle about 5 yards downfield.

Just like that, a solid effort by the Oakland Raiders' defense went for naught.

Brees zipped a short pass to Bush, who spun away from the only defender with a chance at the tackle and dashed to the pylon for a 15-yard score.

"When you're flowing as an offense, that's the kind of stuff that happens," Brees said. "You're taking those underneath completions and turning them into big plays."

That score was only one of many big plays by the Saints (3-3) in a 34-3 rout of Oakland on Sunday.

Even more accurate than usual, Brees connected on 87 percent of his passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns, creating what new Oakland coach Tom Cable termed as a template for second-year Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell to follow.

"You have to use (Brees) as a model if you are the Oakland Raiders," said Cable, who took over last week for the fired Lane Kiffin. "That's where we want (Russell) to get."

Cable spent his NFL head coaching debut watching in frustration as Russell -- drafted first overall in 2007 -- completed only 13 of 35 passes for 159 yards, while throwing an interception and fumbling.

Brees needed only 14 attempts to surpass Russell's completion total. Entering the game with a completion rate of nearly 69 percent, Brees connected on his first 16 throws -- one short of his franchise record -- and finished 26-of-30. Of his four incompletions, two were throwaways.

Reggie Bush also scored on a 3-yard run. His 21-yard reception in the first quarter gave him 200 catches through his first 34 games, tying him with Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin as the quickest NFL players to reach 200 catches.

"Fortunately for me, Drew likes to check the ball down to the running backs," Bush said. "It helps when you have a guy like that who can see the field and see the open guy."

Russell, who grew up in Mobile, Ala., starred at LSU and had about 40 friends and family in attendance, could not have had much worse of a homecoming.

"It's disappointing losing in front of family," Russell said. "The bottom line is today was a loss and losses are always disappointing."

In addition to an interception by cornerback Jason David, Russell had four other incompletions nearly picked off.

Oakland (1-4), which finished with 226 total yards, also had a tough time running in what was a third-straight strong performance by a Saints defense that had held San Francisco's Frank Gore and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson in check the previous two weeks. The Raiders' trio of Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush, combined for 74 yards.

Brees, who now has 1,993 yards passing through six games, had completions to three wide receivers, three tight ends and three running backs.

His first scoring pass was an 8-yard screen to reserve running back Aaron Stecker on third-and-7. His final TD toss was a 2-yarder to tight end Mark Campbell, which was Campbell's first touchdown since he joined New Orleans in 2006.

On a third-and-short, Brees surprised Oakland with a 51-yard pass to Devery Henderson, setting up one of Taylor Mehlhaff's two field goals in what was the kicker's NFL debut.

Lance Moore, normally a reserve when Marques Colston and David Patten are healthy, had seven catches for 97 yards.

"He doesn't have a favorite," Oakland cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "A lot of quarterbacks will try to force throws because they have to get the ball to a certain guy, but this is one of the most unselfish teams I've ever seen."

The Saints also gained 122 yards rushing. Deuce McAllister led the way with 65 yards on 13 carries. 


  • Brees' QB rating of 144.4 was the highest of his career and 104 points better that Russell's (40.1).
  • Janikowski's missed field goal from 57 yards was the shortest of his three misses in 13 attempts this season.
  • He missed another from 59 yards against New Orleans and one from 76 yards against San Diego in Week 4.
  • Mehlhaff missed his first NFL field goal try and his first kickoff went out of bounds for a penalty. Two subsequent kickoffs reached the end zone, however.
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