Drew Brees overcame a shaky start and threw for one touchdown and ran for another and the New Orleans Saints defeated the host Carolina Panthers 28-10 Thursday night to take over first place in the NFC South.
The Saints (4-4) piled up 375 yards to snap a seven-game losing streak on the road that dated back to last November.
Brees finished 24 of 34 for 297 yards and Mark Ingram turned in another solid performance with 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Brees threw an interception and fumbled in the first quarter before settling down late in the second quarter and leading touchdown drives on four out of five possessions.
The Saints’ defense sacked Cam Newton four times and forced two turnovers. He was limited to 151 yards passing.
Plea deal in bar brawl
Tennessee Titans rookie Taylor Lewan pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in a plea deal that will put him on probation for a confrontation last year with an Ohio State fan.
Lewan, a former Michigan offensive tackle, was accused of hitting the fan outside a bar in Ann Arbor, Mich., hours after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines 42-41 last season. He originally was charged with aggravated assault and assault and battery.
Lewan, 23, instead pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and agreed to pay $1,714 in medical bills.
Arrest video released
As he was being booked on a shoplifting charge, Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle offered $100 for a massage and wondered if his arrest would make the evening news.
KTVT-TV aired the video of Randle at the Frisco City Jail following his Oct. 13 arrest. Randle was charged with misdemeanor theft after he allegedly took cologne and underwear from a store.
In the video, Randle is heard asking a booking officer: “If I give you $100, can you give me a massage?”
The officer replies: “No.”
Randle also says: “Hey, is this going to be on the news, you think?”
Minnesota Vikings practice squad quarterback Chandler Harnish has a foot injury that will keep him out for at least several weeks.
Coach Mike Zimmer said Harnish was stepped on by a teammate in practice. Harnish saw a foot specialist and was diagnosed with a Grade 1 Lisfranc sprain. The Vikings planned to try out other quarterbacks for Harnish’s spot.
With Matt Cassel out for the season, also with a Lisfranc injury, the only quarterbacks on the active roster are Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder.
Chargers lose cornerback
The San Diego Chargers will lose rookie cornerback Jason Verrett for at least one game with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Verrett originally hurt his shoulder in a victory at Oakland on Oct. 12 — which he sealed with a last-minute interception — and aggravated it in a loss at Denver on Oct. 23. Verrett played most of his senior season at TCU with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, which was surgically repaired in March.
Around the league
Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce made it through his third day of practice, making it likely he will return from a sports hernia injury to play Sunday against the Houston Texans. ... Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin missed practice because of a family matter as the team prepares to play the Chargers.