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Saints at Bills Preview

    <span style="">Following a convincing 48-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial  Field, the New Orleans Saints (2-0) will seek to become the sixth Saints squad to win their first three games and retain at least a tie for first place in the NFC South, when they travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium to face the Buffalo Bills (1-1) on Sunday, September 27 (3:05 pm CT kickoff, FOX 8, Saints Radio Network, WWL 870 am flagship station).   

The Saints rolled up 421 yards of total offense in a balanced performance and key plays on defense and special teams forced four Philadelphia turnovers to spur the highest point total on Eagles home turf since 1962.This output combined with a 45 point output in week one made the Saints the fourth team in NFL history and the first since 1968, to score at least 45 points in each of their first two games.

The Saints struck first on the opening drive, as QB Drew Brees led the offense down the field and found WR Marques Colston for a 15-yard touchdown. Philadelphia struck back quickly to tie things up and the score was knotted up 10-10 in the second quarter before Brees found Colston for his second score of the day, a 25-yarder, which put the Saints ahead for good.

Leading 17-13 at halftime, rookie CB Malcolm Jenkins force a fumble on the opening kickoff return that was recovered by S Chris Reis, creating a short field to help set up a score that would give the Saints a 24-13 lead and was the start of a 17 point run. While the passing game was crisp, with Brees completing 25-of-34 passes for 311 yards with three touchdowns and a 118.6 passer rating and Colston making eight grabs for 98 yards, it wasn't alone in the heroics. The ground game was equally impressive with RB Mike Bell carrying 17 times for 86 yards and a touchdown. RB Reggie Bush would later dart 19 yards up the middle for a score.

The Saints defense allowed only 85 yards on the ground to the Eagles, successfully stopping several unconventional "wildcat " formations and forcing them into a passing mode, which resulted in three interceptions, doubling the club's season total to six, tied for first in the NFL. S Darren Sharper had a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The shrewd offseason addition of the playmaker has paid dividends as he now leads the NFL with three picks.

LB Scott Shanle enjoyed an extremely productive day as he recorded a game-high 11 tackles (ten solo) and had his second interception in as many contests this season.

The Saints will face a difficult challenge in upstate New York as the Bills rebounded from a heartbreaking Monday night loss in New England to open the season, using several big plays on offense and defense to defeat Tampa Bay 33-20 on Sunday. The Bills have been powered by a high-powered rushing attack that has churned out an average of 154 yards per game.

IN THE NFC SOUTH: The Falcons will travel to New England. Tampa Bay will host the New York Giants, and Carolina will travel to Dallas for a Monday night match-up at Cowboys Stadium.

WORTH NOTING: The series between the two clubs is tied at 4-4 with the Saints having won the last two contests...In their last meeting on October 2, 2005, played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, due to Hurricane Katrina, the Saints defeated the Bills 19-7...Three games in the series have been decided by a touchdown or less, one by three points or less...New Orleans has a 2-1 record in contests played in Buffalo...With outputs of 45 and 48 points to start the season, the Saints have scored at least 40 points in consecutive contests for the first time in franchise history...Sunday's contest will be regionally televised on FOX (WVUE FOX-8 locally) with Ron Pitts handling play-by-play and John Lynch serving as color analyst...The game can heard regionally on the Saints Radio Network (WWL 870 AM and 105.3 FM locally) with Jim Henderson handling play-by-play, Hokie Gajan serving as color analyst and Kristian Garic reporting from the Saints sidelines...A Spanish language broadcast can be heard on WFNO 830 AM with Emilio Peralta handling play-by-play and Marco Garcia serving as color analyst.

THE HEAD COACHES: Saints Head Coach Sean Payton is 27-23 in the regular season and 1-1 in the postseason. He is the lone head coach in club history to open his career in New Orleans with three straight wins, and his winning percentage (.540) is second-best for a Saints head coach. His 14-11 (.560) home mark is ranked second in team history. Payton has recorded a 22-16 (.579) mark vs. NFC opponents. In his first season, he took the Saints to the NFC Championship and was named NFL Coach of the Year by most major media outlets.

He was hired as New Orleans' 14th head coach on January 18, 2006, after serving on the Dallas Cowboys staff from 2003-2005. He has successfully overtaken a rebuilding project by reshaping the majority of the team's roster, with only eight players remaining from the 2005 campaign. Prior to joining the Cowboys, Payton served on the New York Giants staff from 1999- 2002, including the final three years as offensive coordinator. His tenure was highlighted by a Super Bowl berth in his first full season as coordinator. Payton's prior NFL coaching experience came as quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1997-98.

Buffalo Head Coach Dick Jauron enters his fourth season as in Buffalo. He has a 22-28 record with the Bills and an overall career mark of 58-77, including stints with Chicago and Detroit. Jauron was named the 2001 Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year when he guided the Bears to a 13-3 record and their first
NFC Central Division Championship since 1990. He began his NFL coaching career with the Bills (1985), Green Bay Packers (1986-94) and Jacksonville Jaguars (1995-98). He served as the Lions' defensive coordinator from 2004-05 before taking on interim duties towards the end of his final season.

Jauron was drafted in the fourth round of the 1973 NFL draft by Detroit and played safety for them for five seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl once, before playing with Cincinnati for the final four seasons of his career.

HISTORY: The Saints and Bills have met eight times, with the two clubs having split four games apiece, the Saints winning the last two. The Saints have a 2-1 record in contests played at Buffalo. This will be the first time as a head coach that Payton faces the Bills or any AFC East opponent.

The teams first faced off in 1973, as the Saints Recorded a 13-0 shutout, the first in club history. The teams didn't meet again for seven years. The Saints did not play in Buffalo until 1983. The Saints and Bills last squared off on October 2, 2005 in a home game played at San Antonio's Alamodome due to Hurricane Katrina, a 19-7 win for New Orleans. In the last game the Saints played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, they faced former Bills head coach and current New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in his debut and prevailed 24-6. Three of the games have been decided by a touchdown or less. A look back on the all-time results:

<table>    <tbody>    <tr>    <td style="">Date               

11/4/73 W, 13-0
Tulane Stadium
74,770 9/21/80 L, 26-35
51,154 10/3/83 L, 21-27
Rich Stadium
49,413 12/1/89 W, 22-19
Rich Stadium
70,037 12/22/92 L, 16-20
68,591 12/27/98 L, 33-45
Superdome 39,707 9/9/01 W, 24-6
Ralph Wilson Stadium
71,447 10/2/05 W, 19-7
Alamodome 56,688

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