METAIRIE, La. (AP) — When Drew Brees has handed off to Pierre Thomas or Darren Sproles, it hasn't amounted to much yet this season.
Yet when Brees has targeted either running back with short passes, it has produced first downs, touchdowns, sustained drives and victories for the unbeaten New Orleans Saints.
Through five games, Thomas and Sproles have combined for nearly double the yards and three times more touchdowns in the passing game than the running game.
Brees says the Saints want to run the ball better, but that for Thomas and Sproles, the passing game is just as important.
The Saints visit the New England Patriots this Sunday, and Patriots safety Steve Gregory says keeping track of the versatile Thomas and Sproles will be challenging.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org