Consider Drew Brees and the Saints' first-team offense ready, while the Raiders may not have enough time to fix what's wrong in Oakland.
Brees completed 14 of 17 passes for 179 yards and drove the Saints to touchdowns on all three drives he played, leading New Orleans to a 45-7 exhibition victory over the Raiders on Saturday.
"I just felt like we accomplished what we wanted to there with regards to playing with our tempo and our intensity," Brees said. "We were able to get into a rhythm. When you walk away with three touchdowns on three possessions, that's what you want to do."
Those three drives went so well that coach Sean Payton pulled most of his starters early in the second quarter instead of playing them into the third quarter as planned.
Brees completed his first eight passes, as he had receivers open all over the field. The return of last year's leading receiver, Lance Moore, from offseason shoulder surgery helped Brees' cause. Moore had four catches for 29 yards, including a 5-yarder in the back of the end zone on Brees' final pass.
"I felt great. I felt like I hadn't missed a lot," Moore said. "It was great being out there, getting hit and having fun in the game."
Moore's touchdown gave the Saints a 21-0 lead with 13:53 left in the half and brought an early end to Brees' day and loud boos from a Raiders crowd that has seen plenty of bad football during a six-year stretch when Oakland has lost an NFL-worst 72 games.
"Everything that could have possibly went wrong, went wrong today," Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell said. "It was very embarrassing today. It was disrespectful to our fans, ourselves and our family to go out and perform that way."
The Saints were able to move the ball with ease even without top running backs Pierre Thomas (knee) and Reggie Bush (calf). Mike Bell started, but Lynell Hamilton got the bulk of the work with 16 carries for 95 yards. P.J. Hill added 89 yards and two touchdown runs.
Brees drove the Saints 80 yards on the opening drive, culminating in Heath Evans' 4-yard run. Brees capped the next drive when he stepped up in the pocket and hit Devery Henderson on a 40-yard pass behind safety Hiram Eugene.
New Orleans added two more scores before halftime behind backup Mark Brunell, taking a 31-0 lead when Hill scored on a 1-yard run with 1:21 left in the half. That was set up by a 71-yard pass from Brunell to Robert Meacham.
The Saints outgained Oakland 344-60 in the first half, posting 19 first downs to three for the Raiders. New Orleans finished with 536 yards of total offense.
"It looked good on the scoreboard but let's look at it in the film room," tight end Jeremy Shockey said. "We came all the way to California not for the wine but to get some good work in. "
This game was remarkably similar to some of the Raiders' worst losses a year ago, when they fell behind by 21-0 or worse in four games on the way to a 5-11 record. That made Oakland the first team in NFL history to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons.
After winning the final two games last year and bringing back Tom Cable as coach this season, things were supposed to be different for the Raiders. Cable has just over two weeks to fix what's wrong before the opener against San Diego on Sept. 14.
Russell completed two passes for 47 yards to open Oakland's first drive before being sacked by Roman Harper and losing a fumble in Saints territory. The Raiders went three-and-out on their next three drives and had only one more first down and 13 more yards in the half.
"I've never felt so lousy after a game, period," Raiders tight end Zach Miller said. "The way our offense played was embarrassing so we're going to fix it."
Russell finished 12-for-18 for 153 yards and was sacked three times playing into the third quarter.
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