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Forsett Powers Ravens to Win over New Orleans

Forsett Powers Ravens to Win over New Orleans

Scott Boehem/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- Justin Forsett rushed for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

It was Forsett's second touchdown of the night that helped the Ravens (7-4) pull away while on the road.

"The offensive line did a great job of making those lanes open for me," Forsett said. "I just tried to seize the moment."

The game took on a competitive mood from the start, before ultimately turning combative late. Baltimore opened the scoring in the first quarter when Joe Flacco and Steve Smith, Sr. connected for a 15-yard touchdown pass.

New Orleans (4-7) countered with a scoring drive of their own, capped off by Drew Brees' 10-yard strike to Jimmy Graham.

After Forsett's first touchdown scamper gave the Ravens another lead, the Saints scored 10 straight points to take a 17-14 lead into halftime.

However, Baltimore received the second half kickoff and promptly tied the game on Justin Tucker's 31-yard field goal. The game then took a turn as Brees was picked off by Will Hill, who returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, allowing the Ravens to regain the lead.

A Shayne Graham field goal got New Orleans within one possession, but Forsett broke a 20-yard run off the left side to make it a 34-20 lead with less than three minutes to play. The Baltimore defense would hold strong, only allowing a last minute touchdown pass from Brees. 

Both teams remained at, or near, the top of their division standings. The Ravens are a half game behind Cincinnati (7-3-1) in the AFC North while New Orleans is tied with the Atlanta Falcons (4-7) in the NFC South.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 11/24/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 11/24/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL Week 12: Buffalo Bills 38 (6-5) – New York Jets 3 (2-9)

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers 113 (8-5) – Charlotte Hornets 92 (4-11)

Cleveland Cavaliers 106 (6-7) – Orlando Magic 74 (6-10)

Portland Trail Blazers 114 (11-3) – Philadelphia 76ers 104 (0-14)

Toronto Raptors 104 (12-2) – Phoenix Suns 100 (9-6)

Houston Rockets 91 (11-3) – New York Knicks 86 (4-11)

Indiana Pacers 111 (6-8) – Dallas Mavericks 100 (10-5)

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (14-4-2; 30pts) – Boston Bruins 2 (13-9-1; 27pts) OT

New York Islanders 1 (15-6-0; 30pts) – Philadelphia Flyers 0 (8-9-3; 19pts) SO

Detroit Red Wings 4 (11-5-5; 27pts) – Ottawa Senators 3 (9-7-4; 22pts)

Minnesota Wild 4 (12-8-0; 24pts) – Florida Panthers 1 (7-6-6; 20pts)

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Saints Owner Tom Benson Makes Record $11M Donation to Football Hall of Fame

Saints Owner Tom Benson Makes Record $11M Donation to Football Hall of FameStacy Revere/Getty Images(METAIRIE, La.) -- New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson has agreed to pledge $11 million to the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- it's the largest contribution by any individual in the history of the establishment. $10 million of Ben...

Saints Rookie Cooks Out 4-6 Weeks with Broken Thumb

Saints Rookie Cooks Out 4-6 Weeks with Broken Thumb

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS, La.) -- The struggling New Orleans Saints suffered another setback, as first round rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks will be out for at least a month with a broken thumb. 

Cooks' agent, Jeff Sperbeck, announced that his client underwent successful surgery to repair the break on the thumb on his right hand. 

When the injury occurred is not clear, but Cooks was seen grabbing his right hand after being tackled when returning a punt in last weeks loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

 Cooks has 53 catches and 550 yards with four total touchdowns this season, following being drafted out of Oregon State. 

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Despite Short Turnaround, Saints Handle Panthers, 28-10

Despite Short Turnaround, Saints Handle Panthers, 28-10

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Despite playing on short rest on the road against a division opponent, the New Orleans Saints easily handled the Carolina Panthers, 28-10 on Thursday Night Football.

Quarterback Drew Brees and running back Mark Ingram led the way for New Orleans on Thursday. Brees completed 24 of 34 passes for 297 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Ingram wound up carrying the ball 30 for 100 yards while also scoring two touchdowns.

The Saints still managed a win after playing on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers and then traveling to Charlotte for an early turnaround.

"The offensive line and tight end did a great job of hitting them, hitting them and hitting them," Ingram said. "I think they started to wear down and we were able to get some leaky yards and some big gains."

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton struggled all night as he completed 10 of 28 passes for 151 yards an an interception.

With the win, the Saints improved to 4-4 on the season and are now in first place in the NFC South.

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Saints Prepare for Panthers

Saints Prepare for Panthers

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- The New Orleans Saints will travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers Thursday night.

New Orleans is coming off a surprising 44-23 win over the Packers on Sunday and are tied for first in the NFC South.

"Anytime you're playing in the division, it's always an important game," Saints head coach Sean Payton said on Tuesday. "Playing on the road in the division makes it that much more important."

New Orleans has still yet to get a win on the road (0-4), but Saints right tackle Zach Strief remains positive.

"You look at how we've lost three of those four road games and you say, 'We made some critical errors at the end,'" Strief said. "It's not that we were getting dominated on the road."

The Saints are averaging 28.4 points per game, while Carolina has been held to 20.9.

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Saints March Past Packers at Home

Saints March Past Packers at Home

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns while Mark Ingram ran for 172 yards and another score, helping the New Orleans Saints rout Green Bay 44-23 on Sunday night. The loss snapped the Packers (5-3) four-game winning streak while pulling the Saints (3-4) into a tie atop the NFC South.

"All we talked about all week long is just coming together as a team and playing a complete game as a team," said Brees. "It was a perfect representation of that."

Green Bay jumped on top early when Aaron Rodgers hit Randall Cobb on a 70-yard touchdown strike just two minutes into the first quarter. The Saints quickly countered with touchdown of their own, courtesy of Brandin Cooks' four-yard run. Both teams each converted three field goals in the first half, heading into halftime tied at 16-16.

The second half featured a little more defense, both teams scored on every possession in the first, but only from the Saints. After New Orleans turned the ball over on downs, the defense picked off Rodgers inside the redzone. Four plays later, Brees connected with Cooks on a 50-yard touchdown pass to put the Saints up 23-16. 

Brees would also find Jimmy Graham and Josh Hill in the end zone, giving New Orleans a 37-16 lead before the Packers finally scored in the fourth quarter. The Saints quarterback finished the game with 311 yards on 27-of-32 passing. 

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New Orleans Road Woes Continue in Loss to Detroit

New Orleans Road Woes Continue in Loss to Detroit

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- The New Orleans Saints road losing streak moves up to seven as they lost to the Detroit Lions 24-23.

The Saints blew a 23-10 fourth quarter lead with less than four minutes remaining that saw Lions quarterback Matt Stafford toss two touchdowns.

Stafford threw a short pass to Golden Tate that saw the receiver break past three defenders. Seventy-three yards later the Lions had cut the Saints lead to 23-17. 

Drew Brees tried to lead a game clinching drive but was intercepted by Lions defensive back Glover Quin who returned the ball to New Orleans 14 yard line with 3:10 remaining.

The Saints defense held after the interception but on a fourth down were called for defensive pass interference. With second life Stafford found receiver Corey Fuller for the go ahead score.

Head Coach Sean Payton was not pleased after the game that saw his team commit 12 penalties.

"I thought the penalties ended up hurting us," New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. "I wasn't happy with how that game was officiated. I'll leave it at that, and yet that wasn't the reason in the end."

The loss leaves New Orleans at 2-4 with a tough matchup next week as they host the Green Bay Packers.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/5/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/5/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: American League Division Series: Baltimore Orioles 2 - Detroit Tigers 1 (Orioles win series, 3-0, Advance to ALCS)

Kansas City Royals 8 - Los Angeles Angels 3 (Royals win series, 3-0, Advance to ALCS)

NFL: New England Patriots 43 (3-2) - Cincinnati Bengals 17 (3-1)

Carolina Panthers 31 (3-2) - Chicago Bears 24 (2-3)

Cleveland Browns 29 (2-2) - Tennessee Titans 28 (1-4)

Philadelphia Eagles 34 (4-1) - St. Louis Rams 28 (1-3)

New York Giants 30 (3-2) - Atlanta Falcons 20 (2-3)

New Orleans Saints 37 (2-3) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31 (1-4) - Overtime

Dallas Cowboys 20 (4-1) - Houston Texans 17 (3-2) - Overtime

Buffalo Bills 17 (3-2) - Detroit Lions 14 (3-2)

Indianapolis Colts 20 (3-2) - Baltimore Ravens 13 (3-2)

Pittsburgh Steelers 17 (3-2) - Jacksonville Jaguars 9 (0-5)

Denver Broncos 41 (3-1) - Arizona Cardinals 20 (3-1)

San Francisco 49ers 22 (3-2) - Kansas City Chiefs 17 (2-3)

San Diego Chargers 31 (4-1) - New York Jets 0 (1-4)

NASCAR: Joey Logano won at Kansas Speedway.

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Cowboys Cruise Past New Orleans

Cowboys Cruise Past New Orleans

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- Tony Romo threw for three touchdown passes while DeMarco Murray rushed for two more as the Dallas Cowboys dominated New Orleans, winning 38-17 on Sunday night. The Cowboys (3-1) led 24-0 at halftime and maintained their double-digit lead throughout.

"That was very important for us to see what kind of team we were going to be," said Romo who ended his day with 262 passing yards as well. "We kind of knew but it's nice to go against a team...that is still a really good football team."

Dallas began the scoring when Romo found Terrance Williams from six yards out in the first quarter. The two later connected with 19 seconds left in the half, upping the advantage to 24-0. While Romo was lighting it up in the air, Murray led a dominant rushing attack on the ground. The running back totalled 149 yards, his fourth 100-yard game of the year, as the Cowboys racked up 445 yards of total offense.

Meanwhile, the Saints (1-3) offense was held in check all night. Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 340 yards but was unable to lead a scoring drive until the third quarter when New Orleans settled for a Shayne Graham field goal. They would close the gap to 31-17, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but Dallas' defense held strong and prevented any thought of a comeback.

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ESPN: RB Ingram Out at Least a Month with Broken Hand

ESPN: RB Ingram Out at Least a Month with Broken Hand

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram is expected to miss at least a month after breaking his hand during Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, according to ESPN. ESPN reports Ingram suffered the injury in the first half. Despite the injury, Ingram stayed in the game. Ingram, 24, had been very productive to start the season. In two games he rushed for 143 yards on 24 carries, scoring three touchdowns. The Saints (0-2) have a deep backfield that includes Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson, who have both started games in the NFL. The Saints take on the Minnesota Vikings (1-1) Sunday in New Orleans.

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Saints Prepare for Browns

Saints Prepare for Browns

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New Orleans Saints will travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns on Sunday.

New Orleans is looking to avoid their first 0-2 start since the 2007 season and the Browns come into the losing their last eight in a row.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees went 29 for 42 with 333 yard with a touchdown and an interception in the 37-34 loss to Atlanta last week.

"We don't feel like it's doomsday, but there is a sense of urgency to get better," Brees said this week.

"Biggest thing on the road is communication," Brees continued.  "I feel like we've got a pretty good system when it comes to that, but it's always a challenge."

Cleveland last won their home opener in 2004 and quarterback Brian Hoyer knows the Saints defense will be tough to beat.

"For me, I try to get rid of the ball relatively quick," Hoyer said of the Saints defense.  "I think it has to do with your preparation and knowing what the defense is trying to do. Against a team that is coached by Rob Ryan, sometimes that’s hard because he can try to confuse you, so you really have to be on top of your game preparation and see as many looks as you can and then try to take that to the field."

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Saints Cut Bailey and Meachem

Saints Cut Bailey and Meachem

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New Orleans Saints made their final roster cuts on Saturday in preparation for Week One of the 2014 NFL Season. Among those left off the final 53 were veteran wide receiver Robert Meachem and cornerback Champ Bailey.

Bailey, who was also released by the Denver Broncos this year, was sidelined for three weeks during training camp with a foot injury. The 36-year old played 10 season with the Broncos before his release.

"Even though I've played 15 years, it doesn't matter. Man, this is a production business," Bailey said last week. "I think every guy going into training camp has to show what he can do. And, you know, I feel good. If they like what I do, then I'll play a lot on Sundays. Plain and simple."

A 29-year-old receiver, Meachem's release is less shocking to most. The Saints have a plethora of young wide outs including Nick Toon and Joe Morgan, who sit at the bottom of the depth chart. Meachem caught 157 passes for 2,593 yards and 25 touchdowns during his six seasons in New Orleans.

The Saints also released both kickers they had brought to camp in Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke.

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Saints’ Graham Fined $30K for Dunks

Saints’ Graham Fined $30K for Dunks

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was fined $30,000 on Friday by the NFL for dunking on the goalpost twice during a preseason game against Tennessee last week. 

The new rule, instituted this season, re-defines unsportsmanlike conduct to include any act using the ball as a prop. Many have referred to the new interpretation as the "Jimmy Graham rule" directed at the veteran tight end's signature touchdown celebration.

Graham twice dunked the football after scoring touchdowns against the Titans, resulting in a pair of 15-yard penalties. The acts also drew some frustration from head coach Sean Payton as the Saints committed a total of 28 called penalties. 

League rules state that players can be fined at least $11,025 for a their first unsportsmanlike penalty, and $22,050 for a second offense if the league deems necessary. Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was fined $12,000 for making an obscene gesture towards the Washington Redskins bench on Monday night.

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Saints’ Jimmy Graham: No More Dunking

Saints’ Jimmy Graham: No More Dunking

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(METAIRIE, La.) -- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham won't be dunking the football after a touchdown this season to avoid any penalties during the game that could cost his team.

Following both of his touchdown receptions in Friday's 31-24 preseason win over Tennessee, Graham proceeded to dunk the football through the goalposts and was penalized 15 yards for it, which led to head coach Sean Payton screaming at him on the sideline.

"You know, for four years and however many touchdowns, I've always dunked it. And I just gotta stop doing that now," Graham said.

Graham didn't believe any player dunking a ball through a goal post was hurting anyone, but promised to stop.

"The rule [is] unfortunate because I just love the game. I have a lot of passion for the game. And when I go out there on Sunday, it's fun for me," Graham said. "And I feel like a little kid out there. And sometimes I act like it."

Graham said on Sunday that he would listen to Payton's request for him to stop dunking the ball through the goal posts.

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Graham Penalized, Scolded for Touchdown Dunks

Graham Penalized, Scolded for Touchdown Dunks

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- It didn't take long for Jimmy Graham to violate the rule many feel was put in place because of him. Following both of his touchdown receptions in Friday's 31-24 preseason win over Tennessee, Graham proceeded to dunk the football through the goalposts and was penalized 15 yards for it.

The second celebration drew the ire of head coach Sean Payton, who tracked his tight end down on the sideline to scold him. In total, the Saints committed 22 penalties throughout the game. Graham declined interviews as he left the locker room while Payton would not directly comment on the incidents.

The celebration of "dunking" a ball through the goalposts was lumped in with other taunting penalties where the ball is used as a "prop". Many have referred to the rule chance as the "Jimmy Graham rule".

"I understand Jimmy's frustration with that rule change. I understand what he's doing," said offensive tackle and team captain Zach Strief.  "And yet it's something, look, if this is a regular-season game, Jimmy's not dunking over the goalpost. Coach Payton was completely, I think, correct to jump on him. Any of us, I think would expect it.

New Orleans was once again without quarterback Drew Brees who sat with an oblique strain. He is expected to be 100% healthy come the regular season. Wide receiver Marques Colston was also not dressed for action, but for an undisclosed reason.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/8/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/8/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Tampa Bay Rays 4 (56-59) - Chicago Cubs 3 (49-64) 10 Innings

Baltimore Orioles 12 (66-49) - St. Louis Cardinals 2 (61-53)

New York Mets 5 (55-61) - Philadelphia Phillies 4 (52-64)

Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (62-53) - San Diego Padres 1 (52-62)

Miami Marlins 2 (56-59) - Cincinnati Reds 1 (59-57)

Detroit Tigers 5 (63-50) - Toronto Blue Jays 4 (61-56)

New York Yankees 10 (61-54) - Cleveland Indians 6 (57-59) 

Kansas City Royals 4 (61-53) - San Francisco Giants 2 (62-54)

Milwaukee Brewers 9 (64-52) - Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (66-51)

Atlanta Braves 7 (59-56) - Washington Nationals 6 (62-52)

Houston Astros 4 (48-68) - Texas Rangers 3 (45-70)

Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (50-66) - Colorado Rockies 3 (45-70)

Oakland Athletics 6 (71-44) - Minnesota Twins 5 (51-63)

Seattle Mariners 4 (61-54) - Chicago White Sox 1 (55-62)

Boston Red Sox 4 (51-64) - Los Angeles Angels 2 (67-48)

NFL Preseason: Atlanta Falcons 16 (1-0) - Miami Dolphins 10 (0-1)

Jacksonville Jaguars 16 (1-0) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 (0-1)

Buffalo Bills 20 (1-0) - Carolina Panthers 18 (0-1)

Minnesota Vikings 10 (1-0) - Oakland Raiders 6 (0-1)

New Orleans Saints 26 (1-0) - St. Louis Rams 24 (0-1) 

Chicago Bears 34 (1-0) - Philadelphia Eagles 28 (0-1)

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Guard Carl Nicks Parts Ways with Bucs

Guard Carl Nicks Parts Ways with Bucs

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) --Offensive guard Carl Nicks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mutually agreed to part ways Friday.

The two-time Pro Bowler signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal in 2012 with the team but has been dealing with ailments that have allowed him to play in only nine games the last two seasons.

"I'd like to thank the Buccaneers organization for working with me as I have attempted to get myself back on the football field," Nicks said in a statement. "However, after careful consideration, I have made the decision to step away from the game. This was by no means an easy decision, but I believe that it is what is best for me and my family, as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The 29-year-old Nicks has played in six NFL seasons, including four with New Orleans where he won a Super Bowl.                                          Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Saints Safety Jairus Byrd to Undergo Back Surgery

Saints Safety Jairus Byrd to Undergo Back Surgery

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(METAIRIE, La.) -- One of highest-profile free agents this off-season is set to undergo back surgery as New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd is set to go under the knife.

Saints head coach Sean Payton said that Byrd will probably miss all of OTA's as well as minicamps over the next month.

"This is something after the doctors looked at it, and the specialists out in [Los Angeles] looked at it, [they] felt this was one scenario that would kind of take care of it rather than try to [keep managing it]," Payton said of Byrd's surgery. "If it was during the season, you wouldn't go through the procedure. You would treat it symptomatically then."

Byrd is a three-time Pro Bowl player, and is one of the best at his position. Earlier in the off-season, the Saints signed Byrd to a six-year deal worth $54 million, with $20.03 million of that guaranteed.

The 27-year-old Byrd spent all five seasons of his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills before signing with the Saints.

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Bailey Agrees to Two-Year Deal with Saints

Bailey Agrees to Two-Year Deal with SaintsKevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New Orleans Saints announced Friday that they agreed to a two-year deal with 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the deal can be worth a maximum of $7 million...
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