NEW ORLEANS -- David Bowens looks even older than he is, with specks of gray in his hair and beard.
So after the 33-year-old Cleveland linebacker intercepted Drew Brees twice Sunday and returned both for touchdowns, teammates celebrating their stunning 30-17 victory over the defending champion New Orleans Saints joked at Bowens' expense.
"They say I'm the oldest guy to score two touchdowns since Larry Csonka," Bowens said, alluding to the Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame fullback.
Age didn't seem to be a factor during Bowens' returns of 30 and 64 yards, the second of which he punctuated by clumsily somersaulting into the end zone.
"I can't dance," Bowens said, explaining that his celebration was a reprise of Reggie Bush's end zone somersault in the NFC title game in January 2007. "I can't do it as sweet as he does it. I'm a little heavier than he is and a little older."
Bowens was not accustomed to scoring touchdowns. In his previous 11 NFL seasons, he had only one on a blocked punt.
"You don't dream of games like that," Bowens said. "You don't ever think anything is going to happen like that. It's unbelievable."
Perhaps Bowens had a little karma working for him in New Orleans. Several years ago, he helped raise $20,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Incidentally, his career-best performance came not only at Brees' expense, but just days after the quarterback had welcomed a son named Bowen.
Brees, who was intercepted 11 times last season, has thrown 10 already. The only other time Brees had four interceptions in a game was when New Orleans lost to Tennessee in September 2007.
"Whenever you throw a pick, you're going to be upset. ... Four interceptions are hard to swallow," Brees said. "I think we are all doing a little soul searching. We know how good we can be. Obviously, we aren't playing that way right now."
Scott Fujita and Sheldon Brown also had interceptions for Cleveland. Fujita, a defensive leader for the Saints last season and a former fan favorite in the Louisiana Superdome, snagged his interception at the Cleveland 3 to thwart a likely scoring drive. Fujita also had one of three sacks on Brees. He was constantly watching the Saints' sideline for substitutions, then relayed the information to his own sideline to help with pre-snap adjustments.
Afterward, Cleveland coach Eric Mangini gave Fujita a game ball.
"I tried to do my best early this week in practice to prepare our team for what we would face today, as it's no secret that I am familiar with the Saints," Fujita said. "It's one thing to plan the X's and O's, but it's another to come out and execute it. The way we did it was pretty impressive. ... I didn't think we'd shut them down like that."
While the Browns defense had a former Saint as a secret weapon, the Browns offense was decrying some less than saintly behavior by the New Orleans defense.
Cleveland safety Nick Sorensen said some Saints players were gouging at his eyes and ripping at his face while he was down on the ground recovering a fumble on a kickoff return, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He also said that linebacker Blake Costanzo reacted angrily after the opening kickoff of the third quarter because the Saints were choking people.
Josh Cribbs, who was on the bottom of the pile after that return, said, "They were grabbing my crotch.''
Sorensen's ordeal happened after he ripped the ball away from Pierson Prioleau after the Saints fumbled a second-quarter kickoff. Sorensen came up with the ball after what he called dirty play in the pile.
"I was at the bottom and they were gouging my eye and all of that stuff,'' Sorensen said, according to the Plain Dealer. "They were gouging my eye and ripping into my face. It was dirty, but that's just what happens."
Sorensen, who walked off rubbing his eye, said it got "pretty aggressive a couple of times. We weren't really starting anything. It was just like we were just kind of reacting to, we're not going to just get pushed around and take it."
Rookie Colt McCoy passed for only 74 yards but got his first win as an NFL starter -- a desperately needed one for the struggling Browns (2-5). Peyton Hillis rushed for a 4-yard score for Cleveland's only offensive touchdown.
The Saints (4-3) never led and got no closer in the second half than 20-10 on Brees' 11-yard pass to David Thomas early in the fourth quarter.
The Saints outgained Cleveland 394-210, but the Browns made big plays on defense and special teams in building a 20-3 halftime lead that had the crowd booing the defending Super Bowl champions as they went to the locker room.
Late in the half, punter Reggie Hodges shocked the Saints by darting through a huge hole up the middle for 68 yards to the Saints 9. It was the longest rush by a punter since 1970.
Soon after, Dawson hit from 21 yards.
Hillis' short scoring run was set up by a pass interference call against Malcolm Jenkins on a long attempt to Cribbs.
Bowens' first interception on a tipped pass that Brees threw under pressure made it 20-3 shortly before halftime.
Brees did not have to miss any work for the birth of his second son last Tuesday, which was a day off for the club. He still was not nearly as sharp as usual. He finished 37 of 56 for 356 yards and two touchdowns, the second score coming on a throw to Marques Colston in the anticlimactic final minutes.
McCoy was 9 of 16, but was sacked only once and was not intercepted. He also had a 13-yard reception on a halfback pass from Hillis, setting up Dawson's 48-yard field goal.
The NFL's recent crackdown on helmet hits came into play at least once in this game. Cleveland linebacker Eric Barton was penalized for unnecessary roughness for swiping his hand across Brees' helmet during a sack. ... The worst injury during the game involved not a player but a member of the chain crew on the sideline. Paramedics rushed to the aid of Al Nastasi Jr. after he was leveled by the Saints' Courtney Roby, who was sprinting down the sideline on punt coverage. Nastasi was quickly given intravenous fluids, then was carted off the field and taken to a hospital for further evaluation. His condition was not immediately known.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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