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Saints Stay in Balance

September 18, 2006|From the Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. — A 34-27 victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday had the New Orleans Saints primed to respond to questions about distractions.

First, there was the anticipation of the Saints' returning unbeaten to the Louisiana Superdome next Monday night for the team's first game there since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city and turned the stadium into a shelter that became a symbol of government mismanagement.

Next, there was Reggie Bush, after a week of being asked about allegedly improper benefits from his days at USC, responding with eight receptions for 68 yards and 109 total yards but only five yards rushing in six carries.

"I'm not distracted at all," said Bush, sore enough from cramps that he needed help putting on a tie after the game. "I'm living a dream right now. I'm having fun. I got a chance to play at Lambeau Field today with Brett Favre on the other side of the field."

Receiver Joe Horn said the Saints backed Bush.

"I don't know if Reggie did it or not," Horn said of the allegations. "But I told him, 'Listen, don't worry about that, we love you, man. You keep ballin' and you don't worry about the distraction.' " As for the Monday night hoopla, Horn advised his team to avoid "hoopin' and hollerin' " about each win and look at the bigger picture.

The Saints (2-0) were led by Drew Brees, who overcame three early turnovers and passed for 353 yards with two touchdowns. Running back Deuce McAllister added two scores.

Favre, whose Packers (0-2) were shut out last week, passed for 340 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. It was his first multi-touchdown game since a loss to Minnesota on Nov. 21, 2005.

"That's a game we should have won, and we didn't do it," Favre said. "We may not be in that situation too often this year where we're up 13-0 at home."

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