The New Orleans Saints (5-5) defeated the Oakland Raiders (3-7), 38-17, at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. on Sunday afternoon.
After starting the season 0-4, New Orleans has now won five of the past six games and is on a three-game winning streak. The Saints have won 14 consecutive games in the month of November dating back to 2009.
With the win over Oakland, the Saints improved to 6-5-1 all-time against the Raiders with New Orleans coming away with the win in four of the past five matchups between the teams. New Orleans is 3-2 when playing in Oakland.
"At 0-4 our team stuck together," Saints Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Coach Joe Vitt said after the game. "They worked hard every day and never pointed fingers. They just continued to try and improve every day. It's paying dividends now."
QB Drew Brees completed 20-of-27 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns. He finished the game with a 134.6 quarterback rating before QB Chase Daniel took over in the fourth quarter.
The Saints running backs combined for 153 yards on the ground. RB Mark Ingram carried the ball 12 times and picked up 67 yards and a touchdown.
WR Marques Colston caught four passes for 69 yards and WR Lance Moore pulled in two passes for 53 yards and two touchdowns. TE Jimmy Graham caught six passes and added a touchdown reception in the first quarter.
S Malcolm Jenkins registered six tackles (five solo) and intercepted a pass in the first quarter that he returned 55 yards for a touchdown.
S Roman Harper recorded 11 tackles (nine solo) and intercepted a pass thrown by QB Carson Palmer in the end zone to end a long Raiders drive.
The Raiders won the coin toss and chose to receive to begin the two team's first matchup since 2008. The Saints defense was able to hold the Raiders on their opening possession and forced a punt by P Shane Lechler.
Starting at their own 20-yard line, Brees and the Saints offense wasted no time moving the ball down the field. Brees completed five of six passes for 41 yards while Ingram and RB Pierre Thomas added 39 yards on the ground. Brees capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to Graham, extending his NFL-record streak of consecutive games with a TD pass to 53. K Garrett Hartley made the extra point to give the Saints a 7-0 lead.
Then, following a three-and-out by both teams, Palmer fired a pass intended for TE Brandon Myers but the ball was intercepted by Jenkins. Jenkins returned the ball 55 yards the other way for a Saints touchdown and Hartley added the extra point to give the New Orleans a 14-0 first quarter advantage.
The Raiders led a 17-play drive that spanned from the first quarter into the second period over 8:58 but the Saints defense made a big stop in the red zone. Palmer threw incomplete to TE Brandon Myers but the ball was tipped off the hands of Myers and fell into the reach of Harper who made the interception in the endzone.
Following a Saints three-and-out later in the quarter, the Raiders were able to move down the field for an 81-yard scoring drive. Palmer completed a pass to FB Marcel Reece who was able to break a tackle and pick up 56 yards down the left sideline. Then, following a pass interference call against the Saints, Palmer completed a one-yard touchdown pass to Myers on a play action roll-out. K Sebastian Janikowski made the extra point to bring the score to 14-7 with 4:10 remaining in the first half.
Brees was left with one more opportunity before the end of the first half. He completed first down throws of 24-yards and 16-yards to Colston before finding Moore deep down the middle of the field for a 38-yard touchdown.
Hartley added the PAT to increase the Saints lead to 21-7 with less than one minute remaining in the first half.
DE Will Smith then sacked Palmer on the Raiders last possession to bring the first half to a close.
RB Travaris Cadet returned the opening kickoff of the second half 75 yards to the Oakland 27-yard line. Then, on New Orleans' first offensive play, Ingram rushed to left and got to the edge on his way to a 27-yard touchdown run. Hartley made the extra point to give the Saints a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter.
Later in the third quarter, the Raiders had moved into New Orleans territory. Palmer completed a pass to WR Rod Streater and CB Jabari Greer forced a fumble that was recovered by Harper.
The play was overturned to an incomplete pass but the Saints held the Raiders to a field goal as they forced three consecutive incompletions. Janikowski added a 40-yard kick that hit the upright and went through to give the Raiders three points in the third quarter.
Following a Raiders three-and-out, the Saints offense returned to the field with the ball near midfield. After two carries by Ingram, RB Chris Ivory was able to break through the line and pick up 25 yards on the ground that set up a 15-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Moore. Hartley added the extra point to give the Saints a 35-10 lead in the third quarter.
After the Saints defense forced a turnover on downs at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Brees completed a 15-yard pass to Colston for a first down. The catch was Colston's 500th of his career. Ingram and Ivory added 13 yards on the ground to set up a field goal attempt for Hartley. Hartley made the 47-yard kick to increase the Saints lead to 38-10.
Later in the fourth quarter, Palmer was able to lead Oakland 93 yards in seven plays as he picked up five first downs through the air. Palmer ended the drive by completing a three-yard touchdown pass to Criner. Janikowski made the PAT to bring the score to 38-17.
Daniel entered the game for New Orleans after Graham recovered an onside kick attempt by the Raiders. Daniel completed a 10-yard pass to FB Jed Collins for a first down and moved the chains again on a 19-yard rush. With the first downs, New Orleans was able to run out the clock with a 38-17 victory.
The Saints will return to New Orleans to face the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome before traveling to face the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football. The Oakland Raiders will prepare to travel to Cincinnati for a contest against the Bengals next Sunday.