Final

Saints 27

(3-0, 2-0 away)

Bills 7

(1-2, 1-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:05 PM ET, September 27, 2009

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY 

1 2 3 4 T
NO 7 3 0 1727
BUF 0 7 0 07

Top Performers

Passing: D. Brees (NO) - 172 YDS

Rushing: P. Thomas (NO) - 14 CAR, 126 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: M. Colston (NO) - 4 REC, 67 YDS

Saints stymie Bills' offense, shut down T.O. as big 4th quarter the difference

Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Turns out Drew Brees doesn't have to throw a touchdown pass -- or put up 45 points -- to secure a victory

The New Orleans Saints' overlooked defense proved pretty stout.

Graham: Not Catching On

Wide receivers Terrell Owens and Lee Evans were nowhere to be found for the Bills on Sunday, writes Tim Graham. Blog


• AFC East blog

Will Smith had a sack and an interception to lead a Saints defense that held Terrell Owens without a catch for the first time since his rookie season in 1996 on the way to New Orleans' 27-7 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Running back Pierre Thomas sealed the win by scoring two touchdowns in the final 10 minutes and finished with a career-high 126 yards rushing -- all in the second half.

Brees finished 16-of-20 for 172 yards, ending an NFL-leading 22-game streak of throwing for 200 yards or more.

"Our defense played outstanding," Brees said. "Every time they stepped on the field, they just felt like the were going to shut them down."

New Orleans generated four sacks and prevented Buffalo (1-2) from registering a first down in its final five possessions.

The cherry on top was shutting out T.O., who failed to make a catch despite five passes thrown his way, ending a 185-game streak that was the longest of any active player. It was also the third-longest streak in NFL history, behind Marvin Harrison (stuck at 190) and Jerry Rice (274).

Fast Facts

• Terrell Owens' streak of 185 games with a reception, the third-longest in NFL history, came to an end.

• The Saints improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2006.

• Pierre Thomas, who had zero carries in 2009 entering Sunday, rushed 14 times for a career-high 126 yards and two TDs.

• The Bills scored a season-low seven points and lost their third straight game to the Saints.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Owens' day got even worse after the game. On his way up the tunnel, T.O. was struck in the face and chest by a large bucket of popcorn thrown from the stands.

"I'm good. Just got to get ready for next week," Owens said.

As for the offense, his role in it and whether he's happy about the play-calling, Owens would only say: "I'm going with the plays that are called."

Owens was thrown to only once in the first half, when he bobbled a pass out of bounds at the right sideline. He had four passes go his way in the second half, including one up the right sideline that he failed to make a play on, even though he was partially open and the pass fell within 2 yards of him.

"We have to get him the football, obviously," coach Dick Jauron said of Owens. "Clearly he's a big part of the offense."

Trent Edwards finished 20-of-35 for 156 yards. The Bills marched into Saints territory only once on seven possessions in the second half, and that ended in a turnover.

Edwards attempted to force a pass to Owens in the right flat only to have cornerback Jabari Greer get a hand on it. The ball popped up into the air and directly into Smith's hands.

The only points the Bills scored came on a fake field goal early in the second quarter, when punter Brian Moorman rolled left and hit a wide-open defensive end Ryan Denney for a 25-yard touchdown.

The Saints went ahead for good late in the second quarter after New Orleans' Malcolm Jenkins stripped the ball from Roscoe Parrish on a punt return. The play led to John Carney's 27-yard field goal that put the Saints up 10-7. He also added one from 35 yards out.

New Orleans was only the fourth NFL team -- and first since the 1968 Raiders -- to score 45 points in each of their first two games. Brees, meanwhile, had matched an NFL record for throwing nine touchdowns. Two more against the Saints would have been a record for three games.

The Saints finally wore down the Bills by scoring 17 points on their final three possessions.

Thomas put the game away a little over five minutes into the fourth quarter by scoring on a 34-yard run to put the Saints up 17-7. Taking the ball on a sweep left, Thomas burst up the sideline, where he vaulted rookie safety Jairus Byrd, and then dragged cornerback Terrence McGee the final 5 yards into the end zone.

"This is a game that in the past would not have gone our way," Brees said. "It's the attitude. Once we got in the fourth quarter, offensively our attitude was every time we touch the ball we're getting points."

Game notes


Thomas also scored on a 19-yard run, Lynell Hamilton scored on a 1-yard plunge on the Saints' opening drive. ... Bills DE Aaron Schobel got his 70th career sack.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NO
BUF
1st Downs2113
Passing 1st downs
85
Rushing 1st downs
115
1st downs from penalties
23
3rd down efficiency
5-152-14
4th down efficiency
1-21-2
Total Plays6961
Total Yards378243
Yards per play5.54.0
Total Drives1312
Passing156154
Comp-Att
16-2921-36
Yards per pass
5.03.9
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-164-27
Rushing22289
Rushing Attempts
3821
Yards per rush
5.84.2
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-40-0
Penalties9-9712-116
Turnovers12
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession33:3426:26

Passing Leaders

NOC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brees16/291725.9002-16
BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Edwards20/351564.5014-27
Moorman1/12525.0100-0

Rushing Leaders

NOCARYDSAVGTDLG
Thomas141269.0234
Bush13644.9017
BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson18713.9012
Edwards2136.5011

Receiving Leaders

NORECYDSAVGTDLG
Colston46716.8032
Shockey6488.0021
BUFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Reed66010.0018
Fine5346.8011

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNOBUF
noTD10:07Lynell Hamilton 1 Yard Run (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 82 yds, 4:56
70
SECOND QUARTERNOBUF
bufTD14:56Ryan Denney 25 Yard Pass From Brian Moorman (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 72 yds, 3:26
77
noFG4:20John Carney 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 23 yds, 1:55
107
FOURTH QUARTERNOBUF
noTD9:55Pierre Thomas 34 Yard Run (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 66 yds, 1:15
177
noFG3:25John Carney 35 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 49 yds, 4:01
277
noTD2:10Pierre Thomas 19 Yard Run (John Carney Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 25 yds, 0:12
277