Saints and Texans win to advance in playoffs
WASHINGTON - Agence France-PresseDrew Brees has sparked a record-setting attack to power the New Orleans Saints over Detroit 45-28 in a first-round NFL playoff game while the Houston Texans have made a triumphant post-season debut.
Brees completed 33-of-43 passes for 466 yards, the second-most in a playoff game in NFL history, and three touchdowns as New Orleans amassed a one-game playoff record 626 total yards on Saturday.
New Orleans remains unbeaten at home
Darren Sproles added two touchdown runs for the Saints, who stretched their win streak to nine games and stayed unbeaten at home by spoiling the Lions’ first playoff appearance in 12 seasons.
The Saints, seeking a second Super Bowl title in three seasons, booked a second-round playoff date at San Francisco next weekend.
Had the Saints not lost two fumbles in the first half, after a season in which they made only an NFL record-low six fumbles, the rout could have been even more lopsided.
“What stopped us in the first half was those turnovers,” Brees said. “Really we stopped ourselves. We just realized we had to bear down, one play at a time, one drive at a time and we scored every time in the second half. That’s what you hope for.”
At Houston, Arian Foster ran 24 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns to power the Texans past Cincinnati 31-10 in the first playoff game of the team’s 10-year history.
“As soon as we settled down and got into the groove, we got it going pretty well,” Foster said. “This team believes. We don’t need anybody else to believe in us. We can do it for ourselves.”
Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates also threw a touchdown pass for the Texans, who will visit Baltimore next week in the second round.
“We did a good job moving the ball up and down the field the entire game,” Yates said. “The way we ran the ball today, it will be hard to stop us in the playoffs.”