The Saints fell to 5-8 with a 16-11 loss to Tampa Bay on the road Sunday, guaranteeing the third straight non-winning season in New Orleans. Drew Brees was picked off three times and didn't throw a touchdown pass for the second straight game. It's the first time in Brees Hall-of-Fame career that he failed to toss a TD pass in consecutive games since 2009.
The Bucs earned their fifth straight win on the strength of their opportunistic defense, three Roberto Aguayo field goals and a Doug Martin touchdown run to remain tied with Atlanta for the top spot in the NFC South.
Just before the end of the second quarter, Travares Cadet dropped a sure touchdown pass on 1st and Goal from the six-yard line on the play after a false start pushed the Saints back from 1st and Goal at the 1-yard line. The Saints settled for a field goal to make it 13-8 at the half.
In the 3rd quarter, Brees hit Brandin Cooks for what was initially ruled a go-ahead score, but instant replay overturned it. New Orleans had to settle for a field goal that cut the Bucs lead to 16-11. Brees had one more shot in the closing minute to drive his team to a win, but was picked off at the Saints 47-yard line ending the threat.
Houston ran their winning streak against division opponents to nine with a 22-17 win at Indianapolis. The Texans used five Nick Novak field goals and a second quarter Lamar Miller touchdown run to remain tied with Tennessee for the AFC South division lead with 7-6 records. The Colts are a game back at 6-7.
Andrew Luck had the Colts driving at the end of the game but his 4th and 1 pass from the Texans 42-yard line fell short. The Texans ran out the clock to secure the win.
The Dallas Cowboys are 11-0 this season when they line up against any team not named the New York Giants. The Blue Stars division rival has sandwiched a pair of bookend losses around the Cowboys 11-game winning streak that started after a season opening loss to the Giants in Arlington.
Sunday night in the Meadowlands, the Giants harassed former Haughton and Mississippi State star, Dak Prescott all night long, forcing the rookie into the worst game of his young career. Coming into the game, Prescott had only thrown two interceptions all year—the Giants doubled that total. Prescott finished 17-for-37 for 165 yards and a touchdown. He hit a wide-open Terrance Williams for a 31-yard score on the second drive of the game. After the touchdown, the Cowboys passing game was stymied the remainder of the game.
Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant had only one catch—it came with 2:30 to play and he fumbled the ball away at the end of the play.
The Giants scored all of their points in the third quarter. Two plays after Prescott was intercepted at the Giants 10-yard line, former LSU standout, Odell Beckham, Jr. snagged an Eli Manning pass and raced untouched into the end zone for a 61 yard touchdown.
Dallas could have clinched the NFC East and a first round bye in the playoffs with a win. They try to take care of those tasks Sunday night when they host Tampa Bay.
Cardell Hayes was found guilty of Manslaughter in the April 9th shooting death of former Saints great, Will Smith. The case was sent to the jury Sunday afternoon and they wasted little time in determining Hayes guilt. The sentence for manslaughter is typically 20-40 years. Jurors dismissed a second degree murder charge, voting 10-2 in favor of the manslaughter charge. Jurors also convicted Hayes of attempted manslaughter in the shooting of Smith's widow, Racquel.
Sentencing is set for February 17th.