Brees, Saints rally to beat Dallas in thriller

Published 3:07 am Friday, November 26, 2010

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints blew a 17-point lead, then went back ahead with 1:55 left on a quick, long drive and held on for a 30-27 victory over Dallas when the Cowboys’ David Buehler narrowly missed a 59-yard field goal.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton appeared to try calling timeout as the ball was snapped, which would’ve given Dallas another chance. But the officials didn’t give it to him, so the play stood.

The Saints, playing on the holiday for the first time, won their fourth straight and fifth in six games to improve to 8-3. The Cowboys (3-8) lost for the first time in three games since Garrett became interim coach.

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Dallas trailed 17-0 after the first three times New Orleans had the ball. The Saints also were up 20-3 just before halftime. Then, Buehler made a career-best 53-yarder as the second quarter ended — and the rally was on. Dallas scored on four straight possessions to get close, then went ahead 27-23 on Tashard Choice’s 1-yard touchdown run with 5:51 left.

The Cowboys were on their way to stretching the lead when Roy Williams broke free with a catch and raced toward the end zone, following a block by Miles Austin. Safety Malcolm Jenkins raced over and stripped the ball at the 11, and Brees took it from there. On the winning drive, he hit Robert Meachem for 55 yards and Lance Moore on a 12-yard touchdown strike.

Patriots 45, Lions 24

DETROIT (AP) — Tom Brady threw a season-high four touchdown passes, all in the second half, and had a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 for New England.

Brady was 21 of 27 for 341 yards — just short of season high — with no interceptions to become the first to have a perfect passer rating this season with a minimum of five attempts, according to STATS LLC. Brady also had a perfect rating in 2007 when he threw a career-high six TD passes in a victory over Miami.

Brady threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Deion Branch early in the fourth quarter after connecting with him on a 79-yarder to tie it at 24. Wes Welker’s second TD reception sealed the victory with 6:42 left, putting the Patriots ahead 38-24. The Patriots (9-2) overcame an 11-point first-half deficit to remain tied with the AFC East rival New York Jets for the NFL’s best record.

Detroit dropped to 2-9.