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PRO FOOTBALL : Saints Extend Their Win Streak to Seven, 24-10

December 14, 1987| From Times Wire Services

NEW ORLEANS — The playoffs, a long-awaited goal for the New Orleans Saints, now is not good enough for the NFL's hottest team.

Bobby Hebert threw two touchdown passes to Eric Martin and one to Lonzell Hill on Sunday, leading the Saints to a 24-10 victory over the Houston Oilers and extending the league's longest active winning streak to seven games.

The Saints had won seven or more games only four times in their previous 20 seasons.

"We're not satisfied with the playoffs," Saint nose tackle Tony Elliott said. "We intend to go to the Super Bowl."

With Sunday's victory, the Saints (10-3) at least kept pace with San Francisco (10-2) in the race for the championship of the NFC West. The Saints have clinched at least a wild-card playoff berth. The 49ers play the Chicago Bears tonight.

"This showed a lot about our team. They're not satisfied with winning the game, having a winning season or getting into the playoffs. They want to win the division," Coach Jim Mora said.

The Oilers (7-6) are still alive for a playoff berth in the AFC Central.

Hebert's three-touchdown afternoon was the first of his three-year NFL career.

In the first quarter, Hebert hit Martin on a 10-yard pass that the receiver turned into a 54-yard scoring play by outrunning Tony Newsome.

Hebert's second touchdown pass, a seven-yarder to Martin, came in the second quarter, and his scoring pass to Lonzell Hill covered 26 yards and came with 56 seconds left in the first half.

Hebert finished with 15 completions in 27 attempts for 254 yards. He was sacked three times and fumbled each time, recovering two but losing the third.

That turnover on the sack by Doug Smith and the recovery by Ray Childress set up a two-play, 49-yard drive to Houston's third-quarter touchdown. That came on a 34-yard pass from Warren Moon to Ernest Givens, narrowing the Saints' lead to 21-10.

The Oilers got a 21-yard field goal by Tony Zendejas in the second quarter, and the Saints got a 28-yarder from Morten Andersen in the fourth quarter.

The Saints held the Oilers out of the end zone with 5:09 remaining after Houston drove to a first-and-goal at the four and again after the Oilers got to the New Orleans seven with 16 seconds left.

"We should have punched the ball in," Houston receiver Drew Hill said. "We had it down there twice and didn't score."

Warren Moon, playing with a shoulder injury, finished with 16 completions in 36 attempts for 258 yards for the Oilers, and Drew Hill had 4 catches for 102 yards.

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