Niagara Gazette — NEW ORLEANS — A hobbled tight end and speedy rookie receiver provided Drew Brees all the help he needed for another vintage performance.
Brees passed for five touchdowns and 332 yards, and the New Orleans Saints pulled away for a 35-17 victory over Buffalo on Sunday.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham played after missing practice most of the week with a left foot injury and scored on 13- and 15-yard passes over the middle, powering through tackles at the goal line both times.
Rookie Saints receiver Kenny Stills had touchdowns of 69 and 42 yards and Lance Moore snagged a 15-yard scoring pass in his return from a hand injury that sidelined him three games.
Bills quarterback Thad Lewis was sacked four times, intercepted once, lost two fumbles and appeared shaken up at times, but stayed in the game, finishing with 234 yards passing and one touchdown. Buffalo’s Fred Jackson scored on a 1-yard run.
The game matched Bills coach Doug Marrone against his former boss in New Orleans, Sean Payton.
Graham’s second touchdown, which he scored after the catch by muscling through Jairus Byrd’s tackle, gave the Saints (6-1) a 28-10 lead in the third quarter.
Buffalo (3-5) closed to 28-17 on Jackson’s TD, set up by a pair of roughing-the-passer penalties called on reserve defensive back Corey White.
But Brees responded by rolling right and lofting a 42-yard pass into the end zone, where Stills outmaneuvered rookie defensive back Nickell Robey to make the catch.
Stills, who caught his first career TD one game ago in New England, finished with three catches for 129 yards against Buffalo. Graham had three catches for 37 yards.
Tight end Scott Chandler and receiver Stevie Johnson each had 72 yards receiving for Buffalo, though Johnson appeared to be laboring through leg pain in the second half.
Lewis, making his third start for Buffalo after being called up from the practice squad, took a hard helmet shot from linebacker David Hawthorne and fumbled on his first play from scrimmage. Although Buffalo’s defense forced a missed 47-yard field goal try, the play still was the beginning of a tough day for Lewis, who was sacked by Cam Jordan and fumbled again on his third series.