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17

NFL Preseason Preview - New Orleans (2-0) at Indianapolis (0-2)



By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(SportsNetwork.com) - New Orleans star quarterback Drew Brees, who has passed for over 5,000 yards in each of the past three seasons, expects to make his 2014 preseason debut this Saturday when the Saints visit Indianapolis.

New Orleans has done just fine without its star in the team's first two exhibition games, compiling a 2-0 mark thus far including last week's 31-24 win over Tennessee in the Superdome.

Jimmy Graham caught a pair of touchdown passes from Luke McCown in that one but was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct following both scores after performing his signature dunk over the goalpost, something the NFL banned in the offseason.

"Yes, I was (upset)," Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters after the game when asked about Graham's flouting of the new rule. "I'm very upset. "It is the first sign of a team that has no discipline and the first sign of poor coaching The first sign along with the quarterback-center exchange."

Graham, who tallied five receptions for 48 yards, is now planning to move on from his trademarked celebration.

"For four years and however many touchdowns I always dunked it," Graham told the New Orleans Time-Picayune. "I just got to stop doing that now. That's just the rule, which is unfortunate because I just love the game. I have a lot of passion for the game. I go out there on Sunday and it's fun for me. It's just fun. Act like a little kid out there, and sometimes I act like it."

McCown finished 12-of-20 for 117 yards for New Orleans against the Titans while Mark Ingram carried the ball five times for 19 yards and added a 23-yard TD reception in the triumph.

Brees, who has been struggling with an oblique strain, is looking forward to shaking off some of the rust.

"As you approach that third preseason game this is really kind of the final dress rehearsal for the season so this is when the season becomes very imminent," the veteran said.

The Colts, meanwhile, are 0-2 in the preseason but their star signal caller, Andrew Luck, looked sharp in last week's loss against the New York Giants, completing 12-of-18 passes for 89 yards with one touchdown as he led three scoring drives on the night.

Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, the ex-Giant who joined the Colts this offseason, had five catches for 53 yards against his former team which engineered a ferocious fourth-quarter comeback to earn a 27-26 victory.

The Giants put up 27 unanswered points in the final 10 1/2 minutes to erase a 26-0 deficit.

"Nicks and Andrew were in a rhythm," said Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. "Obviously, we figured Hakeem would play inspired football against a really good football team."

08/22 12:52:45 ET