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Brees takes blame for clock issues to end first half

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

With New Orleans trailing the Atlanta Falcons 17-7 in the closing stages of the first half Thursday night, the Saints blew a ripe opportunity to score points after driving inside the Falcons 5-yard line.

With 45 seconds left to play in the half and no timeouts remaining, Saints quarterback Drew Brees connected with running back Darren Sproles for 12 yards to get down to the Atlanta 5-yard line. Brees took the next snap with just 12 seconds left in the half and hit Sproles again over the middle for three yards as the clock continued to tick away. The Saints were unable to stop the clock before the half expired as New Orleans left at least three points on the field for failing to handle the clock correctly.

Brees took the blame after the game for losing track of how much time was left on the clock.

“Honestly I thought we had more time than we did,” Brees said. “Last time I looked up at the clock I saw 17 seconds so I thought we had time to throw one underneath and get up there and clock it. Unfortunately the clock was down to seven by the time I looked back up at it after getting the completion and it wasn’t enough time to get a spike.”

“That’s my mistake. That can’t happen,” Brees said. “We’ve got points, at least three, and definitely another shot at the end zone so that was on me. That can’t happen.”

The Saints took over with 2:13 left in the half at their own 29-yard line. Brees hit Lance Moore for 29 yards before the two-minute warning and Marques Colston for another 21 yards to move down to the Falcons 21-yard line. A touchdown pass to Sproles was called back due to an offensive pass interference penalty, but the Saints still had a chance to put points on the board before time expired.

“I felt like we managed the clock excellently all the way down,” Brees said. “Then, unfortunately, once we got inside the 10, just lost track of it there for a second. Thought I had more time than we did.”

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42 Responses to “Brees takes blame for clock issues to end first half”
  1. maumontav5 says: Nov 30, 2012 2:32 AM

    The spread was -3.5 for a reason. Many people saw this as an extremely tough spot mentally and preparation wise for the Saints. Otherwise it would’ve never crossed 3, after the way the Falcons had been laying eggs. Since the beginning of the game it seemed like the Saints were going to have to overcome themselves all night long.

  2. jwzinski says: Nov 30, 2012 2:35 AM

    I was really surprised Sproles didn’t get into the end zone on that play. It looked like a gaping hole for him to run through and then he gets stood up, no problem, by whoever the Atlanta players were. If that was the Packers D, he would’ve scored untouched even with two defenders right there. Come on, Pack, get it together.

  3. patsfan22 says: Nov 30, 2012 2:46 AM

    He took an unnecessary risk trying to keep his TD streak going.

  4. demolition510 says: Nov 30, 2012 3:06 AM

    Drew Brees gave an explanation.

  5. drbob117 says: Nov 30, 2012 3:25 AM

    Andy Reid called Brees after the game and in his best Darth Vader voice said”Drew….I am your father!”

  6. dirtdawg54 says: Nov 30, 2012 3:29 AM

    If he’s so “accountable” why isn’t he being accountable for his role in this lost season? His constant carping and whining about the bounty scandal has allowed a victim mentality to remain in the Saints locker room. What he should be doing is saying “what’s done is done” to ensure his team is focused on me thing – playing winning football.

    He’s allowed his team to be distracted. No leader would permit that.

  7. wayne1693 says: Nov 30, 2012 3:43 AM

    If anyone ever doubted the importance of a head coach in the NFL…doubt no more after New Orleans Saints 2012.

  8. atl88lta says: Nov 30, 2012 4:59 AM

    Hey Drew, how come you didn’t shake hands with Ryan after the game?

  9. db105 says: Nov 30, 2012 5:04 AM

    Brees isn’t the only player or head coach that can’t manage a game very well.

  10. seenoland54 says: Nov 30, 2012 5:08 AM

    Time has run out on the Saints season too. Breeze pass record OVER, Saints playoff hopes OVER, Saints season OVER, compliments of the ATLANTA FALCONS…enjoy your eggs!

  11. theysone says: Nov 30, 2012 5:59 AM

    Drew, if you had time fore another play, you would’ve just thrown another pick anyway…

  12. samapoc says: Nov 30, 2012 6:00 AM

    It’s a disappointing way to end the streak. But the biggest story here is how the Saints are in the heads of Atlanta players who consider this a signature win. And Bree’s has suddenly turned into an interception throwing machine just when his defense steps up.

  13. JMil_ATL says: Nov 30, 2012 6:05 AM

    Loved the fact that in his pre-game huddle he said that the the division was theirs and that the saints knew it and the Falcons did too. Then the Falcons picked him off 5 times (6 if Abe could’ve waited another half second to cross the line) and ended his streak of consecutive games for throwing a touchdown.

    Inter-division games are always tough. I don’t care if the Saint are winless, they’ll still put up a good fight. Panthers and Bucs are the same way. The NFC South is one of the toughest divisions.

  14. jimr10 says: Nov 30, 2012 6:09 AM

    Drew, i need an explanation.

  15. oaktown49er says: Nov 30, 2012 6:14 AM

    Brees had a terrible day, but there is no excuse for letting that clock run out. The Saints had their chance, they controlled a lot of this game but couldn’t make up for the slow start. Not to take credit from the Falcons, but the Saints shot themselves in the foot too many times.

  16. dwinsgames says: Nov 30, 2012 6:41 AM

    With the surprising exception of their D, the Saints basically played with their heads up their butts all night–the drops, penalties, coaching all stunk. But Brees’ play was the real stunner. Even a rookie QB knows that ball has to be thrown in the end zone or out of bounds there. You get another play and if that misses, still get a FG. Just ridiculous.

  17. shoestorm says: Nov 30, 2012 6:50 AM

    Tebow would have been more aware and scored. Probably actually run it in.

  18. heyguru1969 says: Nov 30, 2012 7:11 AM

    Brees may have been thinking that if he spiked the ball too close to a Falcons defender’s foot, or worse somewhere near a knee, Commissioner Goodell could have seen it as an “intent to injure.” Better to remain a Saint than a sinner.

  19. niner13 says: Nov 30, 2012 7:13 AM

    Who knows? Maybe he was clocked on the previous play.

  20. chesslungo says: Nov 30, 2012 7:15 AM

    Well who else would be blaimed? I just cant believe he didnt point the finger at Goodell, old football players, and war vets. Brees is a classy guy

  21. footballfan58 says: Nov 30, 2012 7:32 AM

    I’m so glad this TD streak is over. Brees was more interested in padded his stats than winning games and being a true leader. I really liked this guy before all the bounty issues. But with the public whining, holding out for more money on his contract and refusal to handle the bounty problems with any class, I’ve lost all respect for him and have never been more disappointed in a pro NFL player.

  22. gtodriver says: Nov 30, 2012 7:41 AM

    samapoc says:

    It’s a disappointing way to end the streak. But the biggest story here is how the Saints are in the heads of Atlanta players who consider this a signature win. And Bree’s has suddenly turned into an interception throwing machine just when his defense steps up.
    _____________________________

    It looked more like the Falcons were in the Saints heads – especially the head of their QB….

    This was a MUST win game for the Saints. It was just another game for the Falcons.

    How appropriate that Brees short lived consecutive TD streak ended in Atlanta.

    Tom Brady will break Brees record next year.

  23. thehuckster404 says: Nov 30, 2012 7:45 AM

    Further proof that passing yards are a overrated stat.

  24. oldguardof60s says: Nov 30, 2012 7:59 AM

    In these situations it’s best to have the “home field clock operator”.

  25. strokeytheclown says: Nov 30, 2012 8:03 AM

    Let me guess, Drew. The Saints beat themselves, right?

  26. pixelito says: Nov 30, 2012 8:06 AM

    It’s a sign that even God wants Brees to SHUT UP!

  27. chb74 says: Nov 30, 2012 8:07 AM

    I think it’s pathetic that this team of whiny cheaters is THAT dependent on bounties and their sleazy head coach to win. I’m starting to understand why Brees was terrible before he got to New Orleans. And I don’t buy the argument that all QBs need stellar head coaches in order to be great. Peyton and the Colts got to the Super Bowl with Jim Caldwell, who barely even blinked or gave any evidence of life!

  28. nflrule says: Nov 30, 2012 8:09 AM

    Brees spent too much time with his pre game chant/rap that he does before every game to focus on game management.Just sayin…

  29. makimaguro says: Nov 30, 2012 8:23 AM

    Reason they lost is because they got their butts whipped physically by the Niners, then had to go on the road and play another game in 4 days.

  30. fuglyflorio says: Nov 30, 2012 8:34 AM

    There’s no hard evidence that the Saints did not score a touchdown at the end of the half.

  31. bills4 says: Nov 30, 2012 8:52 AM

    That can’t happen Drew. Ya, that and those 5 picks! I’m still not sold on Atlanta though.

  32. MTLighthouse69 says: Nov 30, 2012 9:29 AM

    If Brees would spend less time obsessively yammering on about Bounty Gate and Goodel, and instead focus on playing football, perhaps he wouldn’t be as much of a turnover machine. He needs to be focused about what is going on on the field, not worry about stuff he has no control over off the field.

    He is supposed to be the team leader. A team leader shouldn’t allow himself to be distracted.

  33. glac1 says: Nov 30, 2012 9:53 AM

    I don’t know what was worse… Drew’s outing last night or the games half time entertainment. The screaming sounded terrible in the background during the half time report.

  34. bkostela says: Nov 30, 2012 9:57 AM

    why wouldn’t he have spiked the ball after the completion to the 5 yard line? there would have been at least 30 seconds on the clock at that point. makes no sense at all. thats poor coaching as well as poor game management by the qb.

  35. vikefan says: Nov 30, 2012 9:57 AM

    well you should be, your 5 picks says it all. all u care bout is yourself and your tru colors are showing brightly….contract, td pass record, still whining bout bounty gate even though u still won super bowl because of it. certainly no longer a hall of famer in my eyes, way too selfish. was never a team player and showing brightly now

  36. funshipm174 says: Nov 30, 2012 10:28 AM

    It doesn’t matter, the Falcons will have another early exit from the playoffs as usual.

  37. funshipm174 says: Nov 30, 2012 10:31 AM

    footballfan58 says
    “It was just another game for the Falcons”
    ___________________________________

    Since when is a division game just “another’ game?
    Teams with multiple championships under their belt don’t even say that when they have a division game.

    Last I saw, the Falcons don’t even have one Lombardi trophy.

  38. turtlehut says: Nov 30, 2012 10:54 AM

    The headline should be: “Drew Brees takes Responsibility”

  39. musicman495 says: Nov 30, 2012 10:56 AM

    atl88lta says: Nov 30, 2012 4:59 AM

    Hey Drew, how come you didn’t shake hands with Ryan after the game?
    ———————————
    This is a complete lie – the photos of them shaking hands are all over the internet. Enjoy your win, but try not to make things up just to smear an opponent.

  40. patriotsdefense says: Nov 30, 2012 11:06 AM

    What? Drew Brees DEMANDS an explanation.

    In a seriousness, the NFL game is hard and you have to devoted everything to it. Brees, unlike Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, decided this year to wage a war against the commissioner’s office. For worse, it is just too much energy and too much caring to even give a once towards that issue in season. He needed to focus on football and he failed to do so. If he hadn’t taken so much time this training camp and regular season to wage a one man crusade against Goodel maybe the result of the field would be better.

  41. footballfan58 says: Nov 30, 2012 11:13 AM

    funshipm174 says:
    Nov 30, 2012 10:31 AM
    footballfan58 says
    “It was just another game for the Falcons”
    ___________________________________

    Since when is a division game just “another’ game?
    Teams with multiple championships under their belt don’t even say that when they have a division game.

    Last I saw, the Falcons don’t even have one Lombardi trophy.
    **********************************

    Dude, you need to get your quotes straight. That did not come from me.

  42. ilovefoolsball says: Nov 30, 2012 12:51 PM

    strokeytheclown says:
    Nov 30, 2012 8:03 AM
    Let me guess, Drew. The Saints beat themselves, right?
    ______
    I’m glad you mentioned this because that is exactly what the Falcons would’ve said.
    Instead Drew Brees was a man and took responsibility for not just the blunder before halftime but for his entire poor performance AND gave credit to the winning team.

    You won’t find a Falcon in all the land with that kind of class.

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