EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Aaron Brooks finally led the New Orleans Saints to a long-awaited victory at the Meadowlands.

Brooks threw three touchdown passes and the Saints broke a six-game losing streak with a 21-19 win over the New York Jets in their second visit to East Rutherford in one season. Ironically enough, New Orleans fared better as the road team.

The Saints (3-8) played their “home” opener here against the New York Giants after Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area and ruined the Superdome. They lost 27-10 and receiver Joe Horn later said the league was making a “mockery” of the team.

Brooks made sure they came out with the victory this time, handing the Jets a sixth-straight loss of their own. He threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Devery Henderson with 8:32 remaining for the winning score, and finished 17-of-23 for 181 yards. Mike Nugent made a career-high four field goals for the Jets (2-9), but his 53-yard attempt with 15 seconds left came up short.

Though the Jets and Saints are the worst two teams in the league in turnovers, they played a clean game. Brooks Bollinger went 19-of-28 for 251 yards, and his pretty 27-yard touchdown pass to Justin McCareins in the third quarter gave the Jets a 16-14 lead. It was the first touchdown for the Jets in 168 minutes, 11 seconds, dating to the fourth quarter of a loss to San Diego on Nov. 6.

The Jets would have never scored their touchdown without a running into the kicker penalty on Will Smith early in the drive, giving New York a first down. New York had another touchdown reversed just before halftime. Bollinger threw a 28-yard pass for Laveranues Coles in the corner of the end zone, but replay officials overturned it because Coles bobbled the ball as he was going down.

New York scored in the first quarter for the first time since Week 2 against Miami, when Chad Pennington was still the quarterback. Mike Nugent connected on a 29-yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead. That equals the same amount the Jets had scored in their previous two games combined.

The rare New York lead was brief. The Saints took the ensuing possession and drove 70 yards, completing the drive when Brooks tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Donte’ Stallworth. As they have done in several games this season, the Jets kept the drive alive when rookie cornerback Justin Miller was flagged for defensive holding on a third-down pass that went incomplete.

The Jets helped some more on the Saints’ next possession. On third-and-5 from the Jets 43, Brooks threw a 13-yard completion to Horn, and Shaun Ellis was whistled for a personal foul after hitting the quarterback on the helmet.

On the next play, Brooks threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Zach Hilton for a 14-6 lead. After the Coles play was overturned, New York settled for another field goal from Nugent, this one from 41 yards, to close the margin to 14-9 at the break.

Jets running back Curtis Martin became the fourth NFL player to rush for 14,000 yards, reaching the mark with a 23-yard run in the first quarter of New York’s game against New Orleans on Sunday night.

Martin, in his 11th season, joined Emmitt Smith (18,355), Walter Payton (16,726) and Barry Sanders (15,269) as the only players to reach the milestone. He also became the third player with 3,500 carries, joining Smith and Payton.

AP-ES-11-27-05 2340EST


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.