Final

Bills 7

(1-3, 0-2 away)

Saints 19

(2-2, 1-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 2, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
BUF 7 0 0 07
NO 0 13 0 619

Top Performers

Passing: A. Brooks (NO) - 172 YDS

Rushing: D. McAllister (NO) - 27 CAR, 130 YDS

Receiving: D. Stallworth (NO) - 8 REC, 129 YDS

Saints clean up against Bills, 19-7

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Aaron Brooks saw an opening and bolted. Crossing the goal line just ahead of a defender, he spiked the ball and raised his arms to celebrate.

It was over when ...
the Saints' defense stuffed Willis McGahee on fourth-and-inches, taking possession for a drive that would lead to Carney's third field goal, making it 16-7 with 5 minutes left.
Game ball goes to ...
the Saints' offense. They had committed 10 turnovers in their previous two games, but had none against the Bills and generally negated the sloppy play they showed on the road.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen It's looking more and more difficult to be a Bills fan -- and more to the point to be a member of the organization -- because of the difficult decision facing the coaching staff. Should this team develop J.P. Losman or continue trying to make the playoffs? It doesn't look as though they can do both. Losman has to learn how to manage the game, but it's hard for a young guy to do that when an attainable playoff berth is on the line.
-- Eric Allen

That's when he heard it: the deafening roar of a crowd cheering for the New Orleans Saints.

And for one Sunday afternoon at least, San Antonio and the Alamodome felt like home for Brooks and his nomadic teammates.

"From the time we stepped out of the locker room going out there to warm up, they really were into it," said Brooks, who scored the Saints' only touchdown in a 19-7 win over the Buffalo Bills.

"They were excited about us being here and they embraced us," Brooks said. "We thank them for it."

John Carney kicked four field goals, Donte' Stallworth grabbed eight receptions for 129 yards and Deuce McAllister rushed for 130 yards for the Saints (2-2), who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Hurricane Katrina forced the Saints from their home at the Superdome in New Orleans and into a cross-country journey with three home games scheduled for the Alamodome and four others closer to home in Baton Rouge, La.

After opening the season on the road, their first "home" game was a Monday night loss against the Giants at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

The Alamodome was clearly a more comfortable venue.

Tens of thousands of gold pompoms were distributed to the 58,688 in attendance at the 65,000-seat stadium. Fans used to cheering the NBA champions San Antonio Spurs did the wave and deafening chants of "Dee-Fense" forced the Bills (1-3) to take a delay-of-game penalty in the first quarter.

"It was a mix of New Orleans people and San Antonio people," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "I think you saw the result. It helped our football team."

By the fourth quarter, the crowd was on its feet when the Saints stuffed Willis McGahee on fourth-and-inches, taking possession for a drive that would lead to Carney's third field goal, making it 16-7 with 5 minutes left.

"We're still the New Orleans Saints," Stallworth said. "New Orleans is still cheering for us and we have San Antonio on our side as well."

But it wasn't just the crowd that made a difference for the Saints. After committing 10 turnovers in their previous two games, the Saints had none against the Bills and generally negated the sloppy play they showed on the road.

"That's the difference in every ball game," Brooks said. "We didn't do that today."

The Bills, meanwhile, continue to struggle behind first-year starting quarterback J.P. Losman, who was handed the reins of the offense over veteran Drew Bledsoe, who left the team and is now the starter in Dallas.

Losman was 7-of-15 for 75 yards with an interception and three sacks before he was replaced by Kelly Holcomb at the start of the fourth quarter. The Bills have just two touchdowns in their last 14 quarters and managed just 208 total yards Sunday.

"I'm not happy. You're never happy when you're pulled," Losman said. "I'm trying not to take it personally ... but it's tough."

Bills coach Mike Mularkey said Losman will remain his starter.

"J.P.'s the starter, and I'm going with J.P.," Mularkey said. "I think everyone understands that."

Losman looked sharp early, rushing for 23 yards and passing for 28 as the Bills drove 75 yards for a touchdown on their first possession. The quick 7-0 lead looked like it might take the crowd out of the game.

"It kind of gives you the sense we should have been doing that more and more," Mularkey said. "After the first drive we really couldn't put anything together."

But then Losman misfired badly with a throw into double coverage in the second quarter and Jason Craft returned the interception 39 yards. That set up Brooks' 4-yard touchdown run that gave the Saints a 10-7 lead. Brooks dropped back to pass before he spied an opening and slipped across the goal line in front of Troy Vincent and spiked the ball.

Carney's 40-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in the half made it 13-7.

The Bills nearly retook the lead in the final seconds of the half when Terrence McGee returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards, crisscrossing the field and ducking through defenders before he was finally tripped up inside the Saints 5 after time expired.

"That was huge," Brooks said. "If that guys scores, that would have taken a lot of air out of us."

Game notes


Joe Horn, New Orleans' leading receiver, missed just his second game since 2000 when he was scratched from the lineup with a sore right hamstring ... Katrina also spoiled a potential homecoming for Losman, who played in college at Tulane .... City officials had hoped a sellout would help push San Antonio's case as an NFL-worthy area, but there were large sections of empty seats.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BUF
NO
1st Downs1323
Passing 1st downs
58
Rushing 1st downs
611
1st downs from penalties
24
3rd down efficiency
4-117-15
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Plays4868
Total Yards208333
Yards per play4.34.9
Total Drives913
Passing67166
Comp-Att
10-2115-26
Yards per pass
2.76.1
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-361-6
Rushing141167
Rushing Attempts
2341
Yards per rush
6.14.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-10-5
Penalties12-794-26
Turnovers20
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession23:4036:20

Passing Leaders

BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Losman7/15755.0013-30
Holcomb3/6284.7001-6
NOC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brooks15/261726.6001-6

Rushing Leaders

BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
McGahee16845.3127
Losman4389.5014
NOCARYDSAVGTDLG
McAllister271304.8026
Brooks7334.719

Receiving Leaders

BUFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Smith23015.0019
Evans22713.5015
NORECYDSAVGTDLG
Stallworth812916.1026
McAllister2168.0011

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERBUFNO
bufTD9:43Willis McGahee, 1 yd run (Rian Lindell kick is good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 63 yds, 5:10
70
SECOND QUARTERBUFNO
noFG9:08John Carney 15 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 14 plays, 56 yds, 6:59
73
noTD5:43Aaron Brooks, 4 yd run (John Carney kick is good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 23 yds, 2:56
710
noFG0:13John Carney 32 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 43 yds, 1:10
713
FOURTH QUARTERBUFNO
noFG5:02John Carney 12 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 48 yds, 6:12
716
noFG1:13John Carney 29 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 49 yds, 2:55
719