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Saints vs. Patriots Final Score: Saints Lose 26-24 but Starters Play Well

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The New Orleans Saints lost their second preseason game in a row, after dropping a 26-24 decision to the New England Patriots. The primary focus here however isn't the final score, but how well both the starting offense and defense played. As for the backups, there's work to do.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

First Quarter

  • Saints kickoff (Hopkins), Pats to their 20-yard line
  • Hau'oli Kikaha with a tackle for 5-yards loss on the Pats first play from scrimmage (run)
  • Pats pick up 6 yards on second down, and Brady throws incomplete on 3rd and 9
  • ---
  • Marcus Murphy puts the Saints at their 30-yard line after the punt
  • Drew Brees' first pass is to Mark Ingram for a 10+ yards gain and a first down.
  • it's the Ingram show: Brees' second pass goes to 22 for about 30 yards to the Pats' 30-yard line.
  • On New Orleans' first third down, Khiry Robinson catches and run for the first down.
  • Brandon Coleman drops a beautiful seam pass from Brees. Would've been a TD.
  • Hopkins kicks a field goal: 3-0 Saints.
  • ---
  • Pats go three and out for the second consecutive drive
  • Cornerback Damian Swann unintentionally tripped Pats receiver. Rob Ryan is fired up.
  • ---
  • Brees is in for the second drive and hits Khiry Robinson for a beautiful screen play for about 16 yards.
  • Brandin Cooks first catch goes for 19 yards to the Pats 24.
  • On 3rd and 2, fullback Austin Johnson gets a Saints first down to Pats 12-yard line.
  • Brees tosses a TD to Benjamin Watson, carving up a befuddled Pats secondary.
  • Saints go for two, running play, Robinson doesn't get there. 9-0 Saints.
  • ---
  • Pats third drive, Brady is still in.
  • Cam Jordan shows on tape with a 3 yards tackle for loss on Blount on first down.
  • Kyle Wilson with a beautiful pass defensed on third down.
  • Third consecutive three and out!
  • ---
  • Saints start at their 37 yard line. On second down, Brees hits Cooks for 31 yards reception.
  • Bomb!!! Brees hits Cooks deep for a 47 yards TD.
  • Saints go for two, pass a bit high for Colston. 15-0 Saints.
  • ---
  • Brady's night is done, Jimmy Garoppolo is in
  • First penalty of the game is on Stanley Jean-Baptiste, holding on a pass play.

Second Quarter

  • Pats get inside Saints territory for the first time tonight.
  • On third and 8, Saints defense stops New England again a NO's 40-yard line.
  • Gostkowski missed a 57 yard field goal wide left.
  • Saints still lead 15-0
  • ---
  • Luke McCown is now in at quarterback for the Saints, with the first team offense.
  • Watson jumps to a false start. A 3rd and 2 becomes 3rd and 7 and McCown misses.
  • First three and out for the Saints.
  • ---
  • Pats stall again, pin Saints deep in their territory after a Murphy fair catch at the 15-yard line.
  • ---
  • McCown misses Colston on a 3rd a 5 and Saints punt.
  • ---
  • Pats with their most efficient drive, from their own 19-yard line, they get to the Saints 29-yard line.
  • On 3rd and 5, Garoppolo misses a receiver
  • Saints stop the Pats on 4th and 5. Pats had jumped, but Saints decline. Saints Ball!
  • ---
  • McCown immediately hits Cooks for a 30 yard rainbow pass.
  • Andrus Peat in at right tackle throws an awesome block to spring an Ingram run for another first down.
  • Pass interference on Colston puts the Saints at the Pats 6-yard line.
  • McCown finds Hill...Josh Hill, for a TD.
  • Saints go for two again. Fail again. 21-0 Saints.
  • ---
  • Kikaha is killing it out there. Kevin Williams eats running backs and O-linemen for lunch and dinner.
  • Garoppolo engineers an efficient 2-minute drill for the Pats, helped by a Bobby Richardson personal foul.
  • Richardson almost redeems himself by sacking the Pats QB
  • Garoppolo escapes however and throws a TD pass. Pats convert the PAT. 21-7 Saints.
  • Halftime

  • Third Quarter
    • Ryan Griffin is in at quarterback for the Saints.
    • Griffin hits Josh Morgan (17) for a beautiful 28 yards rainbow pass.
    • Andrus Peat gets schooled by New England's left DE and Griffin get hammered on third down
    • Hopkins hooks a 55-yard field goal wide left. Still 21-7 Saints.
    • ---
    • Backups are in on the Saints defense.
    • Garoppolo takes advantage of the good field position to lead Pats into the red zone
    • Pats convert a 4th and 2 and substitution penalty gets them inside the 2-yard line.
    • After a Pats holding, RB Dion Lewis gets into the endzone.
    • 21-14 Saints.
    • ---
    • Griffin starts his second drive ominously with an incompletion and a stumble on a hand-off.
    • After an 8-yard gain by Joe Morgan, Saints use a cadence fake on 4th and 2.
    • Pats jump, give the Saints a first down.
    • Beautiful pass from Griffin to Josh Morgan results in a huge gain, but Morgan fumbles.
    • Pats recover at their own 22-yard line.
    • ---
    • With the starters gone from Saints D-line, Garoppolo shreds the starterless Saints secondary
    • Pats quickly get into the Saints redzone as the quarter ends with New Orleans still ahead 21-14.
    Fourth Quarter
    • Pats get a touchdown with running back James White. New england goes for two but can't convert.
    • Saints lead is cut to a single point. 21-20 Saints.
    • ---
    • Garrett Grayson gets in at quarterback for the Saints
    • Grayson hits Willie Snead for two quick passes to the 50-yard line
    • Saints eventually stall and punt to Pats. Morstead pins NE around their 10-yard line.
    • ---
    • Pierre Warren intercepts Garoppolo's deep pass on first down, returns it 33 yards to Pats 15-yard line.
    • Saints stall, and Dustin Hopkins makes a short field goal.
    • Saints up 24-20.
    • ---
    • Among the Saints defensive backups, Kasim Edebali is balling.
    • Garoppolo gets back to his dink and dunk bread and butter and goes back to his shredding ways.
    • Saints finally stop the Pats and limit them to a 36-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
    • Saints lead is again cut to one: 24-23.
    • ---
    • Saints go three and out after failing to pick up a 3rd and 3.
    • Morstead punts and get slightly shaken up while attempting to tackle the Pats returner.
    • Pats get the ball with great field position at the Saints 45-yard line.
    • Garoppolo guides New England into field goal range and Gostkowski convert a 35-yarder
    • Pats win the game 26-24 after Saints offense fails to score with 14 seconds left.
    What Did We Learn?

    The Big takeaway here is that both the starting offense and defense of the Saints played really well. Brady did not record a single first down through three series with the Patriots' first-team offense. Another encouraging sign is that the Saints did not seem to suffer any significant injuries during the game.

    New Orleans is now 0-2 this preseason, ahead of the dress rehearsal against the Houston Texans on Sunday August 30th in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. However, you can be sure that the mood in the Saints locker room is much more upbeat than it was after the overall poor showing against the Ravens.