1:00 PM ET, October 27, 2013
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
There are few other ways to interpret how critical they were of themselves after Brees struck for five touchdown passes in a 35-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
"It's good when you can not play your best and make certain mistakes and still win like we did," Brees said, referring to a handful of pre-snap penalties, a pair of missed scoring chances and two instances when only 10 Saints were on the field.
"If we continue to repeat these mistakes they will get us beat. That's not good enough for us. We've set the bar high. We have a high standard. We want to be as perfect as we can out there."
Brees finished 26 of 34 for 332 yards, completing passes to 10 targets. He owns the NFL record with eight career games with five or more TD passes.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham played after missing practice most of the week with a left foot injury and scored on 13- and 15-yard passes over the middle, powering through tackles at the goal line both times.
Payton generally praised his players' effort and acknowledged he was pleased with winning, but otherwise spoke in gruff tones.
"When you have eight penalties ... and you can't get the right amount of people on the field, then those are things that certainly go against saying you have your swagger," Payton said. "Those are things that are troubling.
"It cost Minnesota in an NFC Championship Game against us," Payton added, referring to a Vikings penalty for 12 players in the huddle late in that 2010 game.
"We're a resilient team, but being resilient is not good enough," Lewis said.
Bills coach Doug Marrone, a former top offensive assistant under Payton in New Orleans, said he expected his young quarterback to be blitzed often, but added that the Saints both disguised and executed their pressure packages well.
"That is a playoff team that we played," Marrone said.
Record-Setting Day for Brees
Drew Brees threw five touchdown passes in a game for the eighth time in his career, breaking the NFL record that he previously shared with Peyton Manning.
Most Games With 5 TD Passes in NFL History
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
Graham's second touchdown, which he scored after the catch by muscling through Jairus Byrd's tackle, gave the Saints (6-1) a 28-10 lead in the third quarter.
But Brees responded by rolling right and lofting a 42-yard pass into the end zone, where Stills outmaneuvered rookie defensive back Nickell Robey to make the catch.
Stills finished with three catches for 129 yards against Buffalo. Graham had three catches for 37 yards.
Graham said he's been told he might have pain in his foot throughout the season and will have to play through it.
"Everyone plays with something going on, so this is no different," Graham said. "I've been preparing myself this week to play, so to get that call was awesome."
Tight end Scott Chandler and receiver Stevie Johnson each had 72 yards receiving for Buffalo. Johnson also had a 13-yard touchdown catch but appeared to be laboring through leg pain in the second half.
Lewis, making his third start for Buffalo after being called up from the practice squad, took a hard helmet shot to his torso from linebacker David Hawthorne and fumbled on his first play from scrimmage.
Although Buffalo's defense forced a missed 47-yard field goal try, there were more tough moments ahead for Lewis, who was sacked by Cam Jordan and fumbled again on his third series.
"We got to him early and often," said Jordan, who also recovered on the Bills 21.
Brees found Moore a few plays later for a 7-0 lead.
New Orleans took the lead for good when Brees spotted Stills, his fastest receiver, in a coverage mismatch with linebacker Jerry Hughes.
Stills had several steps on Hughes when he caught a deep pass down the right sideline and sped away for his long score to make it 14-10.
Graham's first touchdown, on which he bowled over Da'Norris Searcy at the goal line, made it 21-10 in the last minute of the half.
Buffalo sacked Brees four times, with defensive end Mario Williams getting his 11th sack of the season, and former LSU standout Kyle Williams was in on two sacks. ... The Saints' defense, last in the league a year ago, has held six of seven opponents under 20 points.
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 27: Lance Moore #16 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after scoring a touchdown...(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||4.4||6.0|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-3||3-5|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|TD||4:50||Lance Moore 15 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 21 yds, 1:21
|TD||10:49||Stevie Johnson 13 Yard Pass From Thaddeus Lewis (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 72 yds, 4:07
|FG||4:38||Dan Carpenter 37 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 9 plays, 43 yds, 3:58
|TD||3:53||Kenny Stills 69 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 86 yds, 0:52
|TD||0:35||Jimmy Graham 15 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 77 yds, 2:48
|TD||5:21||Jimmy Graham 13 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 57 yds, 3:25
|TD||14:23||Fred Jackson 1 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yds, 5:55
|TD||7:44||Kenny Stills 42 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 51 yds, 2:58
Jimmy Graham caught two touchdowns Sunday but was targeted a season-low three times, his second fewest in a game in the last three seasons. Graham caught two touchdowns in the red zone for the fourth time in his career, tied for the fourth-most such games since he entered the NFL in 2010.
ESPN Stats & Information
- NFL Home
- AFC East
- Buffalo Bills
- Miami Dolphins
- NE Patriots
- New York Jets
- AFC West
- Denver Broncos
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Oakland Raiders
- San Diego Chargers
- AFC North
- Baltimore Ravens
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Cleveland Browns
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- AFC South
- Houston Texans
- Indianapolis Colts
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Tennessee Titans
- Odds info
- NFL Nation
- Free agents