Quick Slants

ROB LONGLEY

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

SAINTS TAKING IT ON THE ROAD

While they are fighting to stay in the race in the suddenly tough NFC South, the New Orleans Saints are well aware of the challenges of being on the road.

With three consecutive losses away from the Superdome, the Saints now embark on one of the longest road trips imaginable in the NFL. After playing the Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., today, they head to London, England, to face the Chargers in an NFL international venture next Sunday.

Though they technically are listed as the home team at Wembley Stadium, it hardly will feel like it. And when they return, the Saints have a bye, followed by road games in Atlanta and Kansas City before returning home for a Monday nighter against Green Bay on Nov. 24. By the end of it, New Orleans will have gone 43 days without a date at its home dome.

"We're trying to focus on this game in itself, understanding we're going to be gone for awhile," coach Sean Payton said.

TONY'S TIME

The early diagnosis was that quarterback Tony Romo would be out a minimum of three weeks because of the finger injury he suffered late in last week's 30-24 loss to Arizona.

Then came the abuse. The unforgiving Cowboys Nation couldn't believe its fearless leader would let a broken pinky keep him down. And then came a report that Jets quarterback and noted iron man QB Brett Favre called Romo and suggested he play through whatever pain he was suffering.

Apparently the message got through.

"It's very likely that he will be ready to play," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told a Dallas radio station. "The question is, can he handle the pain?"

QUICK KICKS

Granted it's still early, Saints quarterback Drew Brees is on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing record. Brees, who leads the league with 1,993 yards is on a pace for 5,314 yards. Marino threw for 5,084 in 1984 ... Tomorrow's Denver-New England prime-time tilt is the 600th in the history of Monday Night Football.


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