In 20-9 win over Vikings, Saints do enough to start building momentum

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) greets New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) after their NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

There were moments throughout the contest when the ball was flying through the air and it brought back the high-flying feelings that have come to define the Saints in recent years. But those moments were fleeting. A 34-yard touchdown to Josh Hill was followed a few minutes later by a dropped pass or missed opportunity. It wasn’t… Continue reading →

Drew Brees, Captain Munnerlyn give their sides of the suplex tackle

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  The Minnesota Vikings were called for roughing after Minnesota Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (24) and Minnesota Vikings strong safety Robert Blanton (36) sacked New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the third quarter Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees didn’t know who supplexed him pro wrestling-style during his team’s 20-9 victory against the Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday. When he got up and went after Vikings cornerback Robert Blanton, it’s because that was the first player Brees saw, the quarterback said after the game, which improved the Saints’ 2014 record to… Continue reading →

Saints ground game flourishes against Vikings

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Saints running back Khiry Robinson makes a reception as Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson defends during Sunday's game.

Khiry Robinson received the Saints rushing opportunities he’s always wanted. And early Sunday afternoon, Robinson took advantage — part of his offense’s two-touchdown first quarter against Minnesota. Pierre Thomas also received his share of carries, as well as a few catches. Combined, their efforts during a 20-9 victory at the… Continue reading →

Teddy Bridgewater makes Vikings debut

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) sack Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) in the fourth quarter in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. The Saints won 20-9.

Ready or not, the Teddy Bridgewater era is underway with the Minnesota Vikings. The rookie quarterback from the University of Louisville was thrust under center in the second quarter of Sunday’s 20-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome when veteran starter Matt Cassel had to leave the game after fracturing several bones in his left… Continue reading →

Saints 20, Vikings 9: Three and out

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints defensive end Glenn Foster (97) tackles Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) with New Orleans Saints defensive end Tyrunn Walker (75) in a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.

1. WHAT WE LEARNED The Saints aren’t going down without a fight. Literally. After an 0-2 start with frustratingly close road losses to Atlanta and Cleveland, New Orleans simply couldn’t afford another defeat and continue to call itself a playoff contender. Sunday’s 20-9 win over a Minnesota Vikings team that lost starting quarterback… Continue reading →

Back in their friendly confines, the Saints try to get healthy against the Vikings

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) waits during a timeout in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.

No matter how bad things seem to be, you can always go back home. That’s true for many experiencing difficulties in life. And it’s true for all NFL teams considered to be Super Bowl contenders who unexpectedly lose back-to-back outings to start the season — knowing they have eight games left where they play their best.… Continue reading →

Vikings try to overcome disruptions against Saints

Associated Press photo by JEFF ROBERSON -- Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel looks to throw against the New England Patriots on Sept. 14 in Minneapolis.

NEW ORLEANS — After enduring the fallout from child-abuse allegations against star running back Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings first-year coach Mike Zimmer might benefit from visiting an old friend in the football business. He’ll do so Sunday when he sees Saints coach Sean Payton in New Orleans, though the timing is far from ideal. New Orleans (0-2) has lost… Continue reading →

Saints notes: Roger Goodell avoids Bountygate question

Associated Press photo by BILL HABER -- New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton yells from the sideline during an Aug. 28 preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans.

At his Friday news conference in New York, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell avoided a question comparing the fairness of his ruling in the Saints’ Bountygate scandal and the league office’s mishandling of the Ray Rice case. Two years ago, Goodell ruled that the Saints’ “ignorance” of the pay-to-injure saga was not a suitable defense.… Continue reading →

Darren Sproles is taking flight with the Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles' Darren Sproles catches a kick during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA — His quick feet and powerful bursts make Darren Sproles a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. That’s why the Philadelphia Eagles are finding more ways to use him. The former Saints standout has made a big impact in his first two games with his new team, earning the NFC Offensive… Continue reading →

Mark Ingram, David Hawthorne among 4 Saints ruled out for Vikings game on Sunday

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs against the Cleveland Browns in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The 0-2 Saints ruled out four players for their home game Sunday against the Vikings on Friday. Running back Mark Ingram (fractured hand), linebacker David Hawthorne (ankle), safety Marcus Ball (hamstring) and fullback Erik Lorig (ankle) have been scratched. Lorig and Ball missed the Saints’ defeats at Atlanta on Sept. 7 and at Cleveland on Sept. 14… Continue reading →

NFL Commissioner Goodell promises sweeping personal conduct policy changes

FILE - in this March 26, 2014, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference in Orlando, Fla. Goodell says the league asked for, but was not given, a just-released video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee on an elevator. Goodell says during an interview with CBS aired Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014:

NEW YORK (AP) — Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL wants to implement new personal conduct policies by the Super Bowl. At a news conference Friday, Goodell made his first public statements in more than a week about the rash of NFL players involved in domestic violence. He did not announce any specific changes, but said he has not considered resigning. "Unfortunately,… Continue reading →

Saints secondary vows to fix past issues

New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) breaks up a pass to Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin in the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) ORG XMIT: CDS

After last week’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, a game that essentially ended on a defensive letdown, the members of the Saints secondary gathered to quietly discuss what happened and why they were in this situation. It wasn’t an unusual sight. On any given day, these guys can be viewed chatting together in the locker room, cracking… Continue reading →

Rafael Bush expecting bigger role against Vikings

Associated Press photo by SCOTT KANE -- Saints free safety Rafael Bush tries to drag down St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy during preseason action in St. Louis.

When the Saints matched a two-year, $4.5 million contract the Atlanta Falcons offered to Rafael Bush to prevent him from leaving in restricted free agency this offseason, virtually no one foresaw the New Orleans safety playing a paltry five defensive snaps come Week 2. But that’s exactly what happened with Bush in Sunday’s 26-24 Saints loss at Cleveland.… Continue reading →

Peterson’s absence tough but real for Vikings

Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (31) takes part in a drill during NFL football practice at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — NFL teams make succession plans all the time for star players moving past their prime. The sudden absence of Adrian Peterson from Minnesota’s backfield, though, did not reveal a carefully crafted blueprint. His hiatus, following a charge of child abuse against him in Texas, could hardly have been anticipated. The… Continue reading →

Mark Ingram's injury provides big break for Saints running back Khiry Robinson

New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson (29) runs against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Consider Sunday’s home opener Khiry Robinson’s latest opportunity to play Saints hero. With running back Mark Ingram out with a fractured hand, Robinson is expected to receive the biggest load of carries against Minnesota (1-1) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. “When something like that happens, you have to be up and ready,” said Robinson, a… Continue reading →

The linebacker suffered the injury during Sunday’s loss against the Cleveland Browns. He was replaced on the field by Roman Humber.
Center Jonathan Goodwin, who is battling an elbow injury, was a limited participant in practice after missing Wednesday’s session.
Linebacker Kyle Knox (ankle) was a… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton talks with Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still for the first time

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints coach Sean Payton is all smiles Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, before the New Orleans Saints played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

One week after purchasing 100 Devon Still Cincinnati Bengals jerseys, Saints coach Sean Payton talked with the player for the first time on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” show on Thursday. Payton purchased the jerseys last week in honor of Still’s daughter, Leah, who has Stage 4 pediatric cancer and is at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Bengals announced that all… Continue reading →

Even with Adrian Peterson out, Saints still focused on stopping Vikings’ run

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

From a pure football standpoint, one might think that the New Orleans Saints would be smiling over the fact that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will not be on the field for Sunday’s game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. One of the best running backs in football, as described by Saints coach Sean Payton,… Continue reading →

Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro to fans: ‘Ride with us’

Associated Press photo by DAVID GOLDMAN -- New Orleans Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro warms up before the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 7.

Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro, a social media enthusiast, has witnessed online fan reaction to this season’s 0-2 start. From tweets to memes. Shares to posts. So on Wednesday afternoon, Vaccaro was asked if he had a message to deliver via the media to Saints fans. He recommended patience. “Ride with us,” said Vaccaro, a second-year pro.… Continue reading →

Saints are ready to make due without toughness of running back Mark Ingram in near future

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs against the Cleveland Browns in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Let no one ever question Mark Ingram’s toughness. After fracturing his left hand the third time he touched the ball in Sunday’s 26-24 defeat at Cleveland on Sunday, the New Orleans Saints running back had 11 more touches, gaining 90 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown before the game was finished. But the Saints (0-2)… Continue reading →

Falcons, Bucs eager to get back on field

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan walks off the field in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

ATLANTA — The short week came at a good time for the Atlanta Falcons. Ditto for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both teams are eager to get back on the field Thursday night after the way they played the last time out. The Falcons (1-1) were mauled at Cincinnati, losing 24-10 in a game… Continue reading →

Panthers remove Hardy from their active roster

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2013, file photo, Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy watches before an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers announced Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, that they've placed Hardy on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, meaning the Pro Bowl defensive end has been removed from the team's active roster until his domestic violence case is resolved.  (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Panthers finally made a decision on Greg Hardy: the Pro Bowl defensive end will not play anymore games for Carolina until his domestic violence case is resolved. The team removed Hardy from its active roster Wednesday, ending three weeks of indecision regarding his playing status. He played Week 1, sat out… Continue reading →