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Third-quarter analysis: Penalties impact both sides

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Penalties played a huge part of the third quarter today in
the Superdome.

Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes was flagged for a defensive
holding call on a third-down play on the Saints’ first drive after halftime.
That gave New Orleans an automatic first down, and quarterback Drew Brees took
advantage by throwing his second touchdown pass of the day to tight end Jimmy
Graham. That gave New Orleans a 28-10 lead.

Tight end Scott Chandler was also flagged for a questionable
holding call on Buffalo’s ensuing possession, negating a  55-yard touchdown catch to T.J. Graham.

Penalties went the other way, as well. Saints cornerback
Corey White took two roughing-the-passer penalties against Thad Lewis, helping
the Bills extend the drive on which Chandler was also penalized.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.