OAKLAND, Calif. -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is once again his efficient self, the running game is rolling and the defense is back to being that fast, ball-hawking group. About all Saints interim coach Joe Vitt had to complain about were two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties after big plays.
"We're on our way," Brees said. "Had you told us or anybody after 0-4 we'd be looking at 5-5 at some point, I think a lot of people might have looked at that and said that's pretty unrealistic. But here we are. We stayed the course, we didn't overreact. ... We just knew that things were going to turn for us if we just continued to do things the right way, good things were going to happen. And we did that."
"This team stuck together," Vitt said. "We've got some unbelievable men in that locker room. We stuck together under adverse circumstances, didn't point fingers, got better every week. Just like last week, this week is a byproduct of how they stuck together when they were 0-4. That's good to see."
The Raiders (3-7) lost their third straight game under first-year coach Dennis Allen as their banged-up defense got picked apart by Brees' precision passing. Oakland has allowed 135 points in those defeats -- the most in a three-game span for the franchise since allowing 141 in the first three games in 1961.
Owner Mark Davis made a rare appearance in the locker room after the game and said he wasn't happy with what he has seen the last few weeks.
"I'm patient. But I want to see progress," he said. "I don't want to see regression. Nobody does. And that's why I'm unhappy today."
The Saints did just about everything starting with an efficient opening drive by Brees that set the tone for the game. Brees finished 20-for-27 passing for 219 yards, extending his own records by throwing a touchdown in his 53rd straight game and completing 20 passes for the 46th straight game.
Even New Orleans' much-maligned defense got into the act. The Saints got the two big turnovers in the first half that got the blowout started and held Oakland to one touchdown until garbage time.
"I feel better than where we were," said safety Roman Harper, who had the interception in the end zone. "We're making plays now. We're making turnovers, we're making big plays. We're not allowing big plays.
Vitt's biggest complaints were the 11 penalties for 109 yards, including a celebration call on Jenkins and Harper after an interception and a taunting penalty on Ingram after his score.
"It doesn't make you feel good," Allen said. "I know we're better than that, and I know we can play better than that. And we'll continue to work, and we'll get better."
Travaris Cadet then returned the second-half kickoff 75 yards and Ingram ran it in from the 27 on the next play and the rout was on. Brees and Moore connected one more time in third quarter to make it 35-10.
"I just know that all of us aren't playing well right now," Oakland linebacker Philip Wheeler said. "We're just not playing well, and we just got to get better. We've played well in spurts, we just have to play well all the time."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press