Saints reach .500 with 38-17 win
OAKLAND, CA - Drew Brees threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns, guiding the Black-and-Gold to a 38-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders. After starting the year 0-4, the Saints have now won five of their past six games to pull even at 5-5 this season.
Brees connected with Jimmy Graham on a one-yard touchdown to start the scoring, before finding Lance Moore on a 38-yard scoring strike later in the first half. Brees and Moore hooked up for the second time on a 15-yard score in the third quarter.
Mark Ingram also reeled off a 27-yard touchdown scamper to begin the third quarter following a nice 75-yard kickoff return by Travaris Cadet. Ingram finished the game with 67 yards on 12 carries, while Chris Ivory totaled 37 yards on eight attempts. It was a balanced offensive performance with 28 pass attempts to compliment 28 rushes.
Defensively, safety Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception 55 yards for a momentum-swinging New Orleans touchdown in the first half. Roman Harper also picked off a Carson Palmer pass in the endzone. Defensive end Will Smith produced his fifth sack of the season to end the half, while Jonathan Vilma tallied his first sack of the season.
The Raiders outgained the Saints 404 to 382 in total yardage, but the two early turnovers made the biggest difference. The Saints (5-5) will return home next Sunday to host the San Francisco 49ers (6-2).
The Raiders (3-7) dropped their third consecutive game, but credit the Saints for taking care of business on the road en route to keeping their hopes for a playoff berth alive.