Saints top Vikings

Drew Brees and the Saints extended New Orleans’ post-Super Bowl euphoria for at least another week and handed Brett Favre a second straight loss in the Louisiana Superdome.

Brees completed 27 of 36 passes for 237 yards and one touchdown, and the Saints survived a hard-fought opener for a 14-9 win Thursday.

It wasn’t the most spectacular way to open a title defense, considering it was a rematch of the riveting 2009 NFC title game last January, in which the Saints took an overtime win to advance to their first Super Bowl.

It was the lowest-scoring victory of the Sean Payton era, which began in 2006. Still, the Saints will take it, considering their defense limited Favre to 171 yards passing and one score.


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was unhurt in a two-vehicle accident near his home Thursday morning and hours later practiced as usual with his team just days before the season opener. He then agreed to a four-year extension that would make him the NFL’s highest paid player, according to a person with knowledge of the contract.

The contract is worth an average of $19 million per year and begins in 2011.

The crash, at an intersection in Boston’s Back Bay area, knocked over a light pole and sent a passenger in the minivan that collided with Brady’s car to a hospital with injuries that were serious but not considered life-threatening, a police report said.

A witness said the two-time Super Bowl MVP was approaching the intersection on a green light when his black Audi sedan collided with the minivan. The driver of the minivan, Ludgero Rodrigues, was cited for failing to stop at a red light.


The head of the NFL Players Association said the union would like to see a labor agreement with the league worked out quickly. “I think the players would love to have a deal done by November,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said. … The Cowboys and Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin agreed to a six-year extension through the 2016 season. ... The Dolphins terminated the contract of center Jake Grove, meaning Joe Berger will start. ... Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said Will Witherspoon’s mother died unexpectedly and the linebacker has been excused from practice this week. ... The Packers signed cornerback Charles Woodson to a contract extension through the 2014 season.