Saints lose 26-24, fall to 0-2 - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Saints lose 26-24, fall to 0-2

Browns kicker Billy Cundiff booted a go-ahead 29-yard field goal with three seconds remaining, and the Browns defeated the Saints 26-24.

The Saints are now 0-2 for the first time since 2007 with coach Sean Payton on the sidelines. Payton was suspended for the 2012 season, in which New Orleans started 0-4.

Trailing 24-23, the Browns drove 85 yards on 14 plays on their game-winning drive. Brian Hoyer connected with a wide open Andrew Hawkins for 28 yards to set up the Cundiff field goal.

Overall the Saints defense allowed 324 total yards. Junior Galette registered his first sack of the season, but there were not many significant defensive plays from the Black-and-Gold.

Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham and Mark Ingram enjoyed productive days as the Saints rebounded from early offensive miscues and a pick-six touchdown.

New Orleans scored touchdowns on three straight possessions to take a one-point fourth quarter lead. Mark Ingram capped off a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Ingram tallied 83 yards on 11 carries.

Brees threw for 237 yards on 27-of-40 passing. He was sacked twice for minus-14 yards. Graham hauled in 10 receptions, matching his career high, for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

The second half was a stark contrast from the start of the game, when New Orleans punted on its first four possessions, gaining just 14 total yards on three drives in the first quarter. Brees found a rhythm late, leading the Saints on a 12-play, 85-yard scoring drive to cut into the deficit right before the half. Brees connected with Jimmy Graham on a 9-yard touchdown to make it 16-10.

Cleveland opened the scoring with a Brian Hoyer to Miles Austin three-yard score. Hoyer threw for 204 yards. Backup Johnny Manziel was 0-1 passing.

The Browns added a field goal for a 10-0 lead, before Shayne Graham put New Orleans on the board with a 27-yard field goal. Tashaun Gipson intercepted an overthrown Brees attempt and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown to make it a 16-3 game.

Graham's second touchdown reception made it 17-16 New Orleans in the third quarter. However, Cleveland responded with a Terrance West 9-yard TD run to make it 23-17. Then following the Ingram touchdown, Cleveland saved its best for last, using the Cundiff field goal to give the Browns their first victory of the season.

The Saints now have two losses by a combined five points.

New Orleans will play its home opener next Sunday, hosting the Minnesota Vikings. Kickoff is set for Noon on Fox 8.

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