Saints pick on woeful Lions

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Favre throws six-yard touchdown pass in his debut with the Vikings

Drew Brees looked even better than last year, which was bad news for a Detroit Lions team trying to win for the first time since 2007.

Brees passed for 358 yards and a club record-tying six TDs to lead the New Orleans Saints to a 45-27 win Sunday, extending the Lions' regular-season losing streak to 18.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre passes to Sidney Rice in the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday in Cleveland. - Photo by The Associated Press

Drew Brees looked even better than last year, which was bad news for a Detroit Lions team trying to win for the first time since 2007.

Brees passed for 358 yards and a club record-tying six TDs to lead the New Orleans Saints to a 45-27 win Sunday, extending the Lions' regular-season losing streak to 18.

Two of Brees' touchdown passes were to Jeremy Shockey, who hadn't scored since being traded from the New York Giants last season.

Brees had TD strikes of nine yards to Marques Colston, 39 yards to Robert Meachem, one and 15 yards to Shockey, 58 yards to Devery Henderson and 13 yards to Heath Evans.

Matthew Stafford's first NFL start had its ups and downs. The 2009 top overall draft choice was 16-of-37 passing for 205 yards with three interceptions. He led two touchdown drives, capping one with his first pro TD on a short keeper.

Lions safety Louis Delmas also returned a fumble for a 65-yard touchdown.

Detroit is still eight losses off the NFL record of 26 straight defeats by Tampa Bay in 1976-77.

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Vikings 34 Browns 20

At Cleveland, Brett Favre threw a six-yard touchdown pass to rookie Percy Harvin in his debut with the Vikings, and Adrian Peterson scored three touchdowns.

Making his 270th consecutive start after a will-he-or-won't-he flirtation that dominated NFL headlines this summer, the 39-year-old Favre showed he can still fire the football with authority - and hasn't lost his boyish love for the game.

After hooking up with Harvin, Favre sprinted into the end zone and tackled the young wide receiver.

Peterson had two one-yard TD runs and capped his day with an electrifying 64-yard scamper. Peterson, held to 25 yards in the first half, finished with 180 on 25 carries.

Favre was 14-of-21 passing for 110 yards and appeared to be fully recovered from off-season surgery to repair a torn biceps tendon.

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Broncos 12 Bengals 7

At Cincinnati, Brandon Stokley caught a tipped pass and outran Cincinnati's shocked defenders for an 87-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left.

After Cedric Benson's one-yard run put Cincinnati ahead 7-6 with 38 seconds left, Kyle Orton - in line to shoulder the blame for a Denver loss - threw a desperate pass into a crowd at the sideline, hoping Brandon Marshall would somehow come down with it.

Marshall never got close. Cornerback Leon Hall batted the ball in the air, and the bounce went right into the arms of Stokley, who was behind the defence and had a clear path to the end zone. He ran sideways for a few steps to eat up time before finally stepping into the end zone.

Bengals defenders stopped and dropped their heads, unable to fathom the wacky way they'd lost another game. It will go down in team lore along with the time they failed to run out the clock and let San Francisco's Joe Montana throw a winning touchdown pass to Jerry Rice on the game's final play in 1987.

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Eagles 38 Panthers 10

At Charlotte, N.C., Eagles starter Donovan McNabb limped to the locker-room with a cracked rib, but it was a dominant performance by Philadelphia defence that force five Jake Delhomme turnovers.

Victor Abiamiri picked up Delhomme's fumble, caused by Trent Cole's sack, and ran two yards for the go-ahead touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Moments later, DeSean Jackson returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown, the second longest in franchise history.

With the suspended Michael Vick watching from a luxury suite, Kevin Kolb finished at quarterback.

Playing his first meaningful game since committing six turnovers against Arizona in the playoffs, Delhomme was nearly as bad. With the boos increasing before he was finally replaced in the third quarter, Delhomme was 7-of-17 passing for 73 yards with four interceptions and a lost fumble.

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Jets 24 Texans 7

At Houston, as good as rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez was in his NFL debut, the Jets' defence was better.

Sanchez, the fifth overall pick in this year's draft, threw for 272 yards and a touchdown while Thomas Jones scored twice. But it was the defence that took centre stage in shutting down Houston's high-powered offence.

It was easy to see Rex Ryan's stamp on this defence in his first game as Jets head coach after leading Baltimore's stingy unit for the past several years. Houston's offence got past midfield just once in the first three quarters.

The Texans were outgained 462-183, Steve Slaton was held to 17 yards rushing and Andre Johnson had 35 yards receiving.

Matt Schaub struggled, too, completing 18-of-33 passes for 166 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.

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Ravens 38 Chiefs 24

At Baltimore, Joe Flacco went 26 for 43 for 307 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs, as the Ravens ruined the head coaching debut of Kansas City's Todd Haley.

Baltimore amassed a franchise-record 501 yards, yet needed a 31-yard touchdown catch by Mark Clayton with 2:06 left to break a tie.

Willis McGahee scored from the one-yard line with 31 seconds remaining to clinch it.

Perhaps the most unexpected development during a strange afternoon was that the Chiefs kept it close despite playing without quarterback Matt Cassel, whose sprained left knee didn't heal enough to enable him to make his Kansas City debut.

That left the quarterbacking responsibilities to Brodie Croyle and Tyler Thigpen, who entered with a collective 1-18 record as NFL starters. The Chiefs used a blocked punt and a long interception return to stay in the game.

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Cowboys 34 Buccaneers 21

At Tampa, Fla., Tony Romo threw for 353 yards and three long touchdowns to spoil Raheem Morris's head-coaching debut with the Buccaneers.

Miles Austin avoided two tacklers on the sideline to score on a 42-yard reception just before halftime. Roy Williams streaked through a mistake-prone secondary on a 66-yard TD play early in the third.

Romo teamed with Patrick Crayton, who had six catches for 135 yards, on the longest completion of the Pro Bowl quarterback's career - 80 yards - for a fourth-quarter TD that thwarted any realistic hopes for a Tampa Bay comeback. And erased memories of the departed Terrell Owens.

Cadillac Williams, back after having surgery twice in 15 months, finished with 97 yards on 13 carries and scored a TD.

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Falcons 19 Dolphins 7

At Atlanta, Tony Gonzalez hauled in a touchdown pass and became the 21st player in NFL history with 11,000 yards receiving. Linebacker Mike Peterson forced a fumble with a vicious hit and picked off a pass for the Falcons.

The matchup between the two most surprising teams of 2008 wasn't much of a game.

Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes for the Falcons, who made the playoffs after a quick rebuilding job from the Michael Vick debacle.

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Colts 14 Jaguars 12

At Indianapolis, Peyton Manning threw for one touchdown, Joseph Addai ran for another while the Colts' defence stopped Jacksonville twice in the fourth quarter.

Though Manning tied John Unitas's franchise record for career wins with 118,

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Giants 23 Redskins 17

At East Rutherford, N.J., Eli Manning threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham, and defensive end Osi Umenyiora ran back a fumble 37 yards in his return from a knee injury.

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49ers 20 Cardinals 16

At Glendale, Ariz., Shaun Hill and the rest of San Francisco's offence had an awful second half but still managed to win.

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Seahawks 28 Rams 0

At Seattle, Matt Hasselbeck, playing his first game since Thanksgiving Day, overcame two interceptions in his first three throws to connect with John Carlson for two touchdowns.

Organizations: Vikings, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints New York Giants Jets Ravens

Geographic location: Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Cleveland San Francisco Baltimore Houston Denver Charlotte, N.C. Kansas City Philadelphia Arizona Tampa, Fla. Atlanta Indianapolis Jacksonville East Rutherford, N.J. Glendale, Ariz. Seattle

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • B
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    What should be topping off this story is how the AFC East-leading New York Jets have a dominating defence and a QB that's going to have teams begging to go home after the first half once he gets set into a routine.

    Long live the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!

  • B
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    What should be topping off this story is how the AFC East-leading New York Jets have a dominating defence and a QB that's going to have teams begging to go home after the first half once he gets set into a routine.

    Long live the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!