Saints beat Patriots 38-17, record moves to 11-0


Drew Brees threw for five touchdowns, and the Saints continued their unbeaten march by dominating the New England Patriots, 38-17, at the Superdome. Monday's matchup featured two of the league's most prolific offenses over the past three seasons, but the Saints showed why they are in an elite class this year. Brees connected on 18-of-23 throws for 371 yards, as the Saints thrived with big offensive plays and also picked off Tom Brady twice. New Orleans (11-0) rolled against the Patriots despite being without running back Reggie Bush, who missed his second straight game due to a bruised right knee. The Saints continued their best start in franchise history and remained one of two unbeaten teams, with Indianapolis also 11-0.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will not play in next Sunday's Week 13 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles due to a right big toe injury, the team announced Monday. Ryan suffered the injury in the first quarter of Sunday's game against Tampa Bay and returned to the sideline in the second half with his foot in a walking boot. Chris Redman led the team to a 20-17 victory with 243 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-41 attempts and will start next week against the Eagles.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme is being listed as day-to-day after it was revealed Monday he suffered a broken finger on his right hand during Sunday's loss to the Jets. Delhomme had thrown three interceptions before the injury occurred late in the fourth quarter. His fourth pick a little later sealed the 17-6 setback, dropping the club to 4-7 on the year.

New York Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce has been shelved for the season due to the bulging disc in his neck. An MRI exam diagnosed the condition on November 20, and the team originally said Pierce would be out indefinitely but decided his injury was such that he could not return this season. Pierce suffered the injury on October 25 against Arizona, but it was not thought to be serious. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was equally shocked with Monday's developments. Pierce had missed only one game in the last four seasons before sitting out the last two.


Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin was involved in a knee-to-knee collision with Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason in Monday's 3-2 win. It's unclear if Ovechkin would have been able to return to the game, as he was assessed a game misconduct penalty for initiating the hit. The Russian superstar immediately grabbed for his right knee after the two made contact at 12:05 of the first period. Ovechkin was unable to put any kind of pressure on his right leg while being helped off the ice by a member of the medical staff and a teammate. Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said the team should have an update on Ovechkin on Tuesday.

Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun was taken off the ice on a stretcher after suffering a deep cut on his ear in a freak incident in the team's 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday. After Ilya Kovalchuk scored to put the Thrashers ahead 2-1, 8:54 into the first period, Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard inexplicably swung his stick at the net in frustration and hit the netminder across the head. Medical personnel quickly came out to attend to Vokoun, who was down on the ice for several minutes before being taken off on a stretcher. The goaltender was alert and responsive, and was taken to a local hospital for observation. Vokoun was due to fly home with the team.


The New Jersey Nets have called a news conference for 10:30 a.m. (et) on Tuesday, when they will reportedly name current general manager Kiki Vandeweghe their head coach. The move comes in the wake of the firing of Lawrence Frank Sunday. Assistant coach Tom Barrise served as interim head man that night, but the Nets lost in Los Angeles to the Lakers, dropping their record to 0-17. That ties the worst start in league history with the 1988-89 expansion Miami Heat and the LA Clippers in the lockout-shortened 1999 season. The Nets can have the record to themselves if they lose at home to Dallas on Wednesday night.

The Philadelphia 76ers met with Allen Iverson on Monday regarding the star guard's possible return to the team. Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski posted a release on the team's Web site, saying the meeting lasted about two hours. Stefanski did not divulge in detail what was talked about and added that both parties remain non-committal regarding a final decision. He said the team will continue to discuss Iverson's potential return internally.


Tiger Woods announced on his Web site Monday that he would not be participating in this week's Chevron World Challenge, an event he hosts to benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods cited the injuries he suffered in his early-morning, one-car accident on Friday as his reason for withdrawal. He also said on his site that he's done for 2009 and will come back next year. Woods is the tournament host for the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood, which starts on Thursday. He won the event four times previously and missed last year's championship as well when he was recovering from knee surgery.


Kansas remained the top team in the latest Associated Press men's college basketball poll, while seven new teams joined the rankings. Kansas received 63 first-place votes, two shy of a unanimous selection, and a total of 1,623 points from a nationwide media panel. Texas (5-0) moved up one spot from third to second after Michigan State lost to Florida last week. The Longhorns again picked up one first-place vote. Syracuse, ranked ninth, was also awarded a top tally. Florida won the Legends Classic title to vault from out of the poll to 13th, joining Gonzaga, Texas A&M, Florida State, Cincinnati, UNLV and Portland as newcomers in the poll. Portland is ranked for the first time in 50 years.


World No. 1 superstar Serena Williams has been fined a record $82,500 and placed on a two-year Grand Slam probation for her September outburst at the U.S. Open. Williams could be suspended from the U.S. Open if she has another "major offense" at any Grand Slam event over the next two years, in a ruling announced by Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock on Monday. If Williams commits another "major offense" at a Grand Slam event over the next two years, her fine would balloon to $175,000 and she would be barred from the following U.S. Open.


Danica Patrick will remain with the IndyCar series, signing a multi-year contract to stay at Andretti Autosport Racing. Patrick, who reportedly was considering a move to the NASCAR circuit, finished a career-best fifth in IndyCar points in the final year of her contract with Andretti Green Racing this year. She spent her first two years with Rahal Letterman Racing before moving over to AGR in 2007. The 27-year-old Patrick was third at this year's Indy 500. She became the first woman to win an IndyCar race by capturing the Indy Japan 300 in April 2008.