FOXBOROUGH, MA (WVUE) - The New Orleans Saints lose their first preseason game to the New England Patriots, 34-22, as quarterback Drew Brees only threw one pass before being pulled.
Brees played only played the first drive of the game which was a total of three snaps, including his only completion of the game that was to Brandon Cooks for 37 yards. Garrett Grayson then came in and played the rest of the first half, going 10 out of 16 throws for 133 yards.
Luke McCown started at quarterback in the third quarter and played for the entire second half. He went 18 of 27 for 143 yards with a 4-yard touchdown pass.
New England was able to get on the board first after Grayson was intercepted by Jaime Collins. He returned the ball for a 43-yard touchdown and James White got the two-point conversion for New England to take an 8-0 lead over the Saints three minutes into the game.
However, the Saints came back to tie the game up at 8-8 with a scoring run by Mark Ingram and a rush by Grayson to make the two-point conversion.
New Orleans took the 16-8 lead at the start of the second quarter with another rushing touchdown by Ingram. The Saints went for the two-point conversion again with rookie wide receiver Tommylee Lewis rushing in his preseason debut.
The Patriots quickly closed the gap to 16-14 with a touchdown of their own by LeGarrette Blount, but they could not get the two-point conversion to tie the game.
New England tried to take the lead on a scoring drive. However, the Saints' defense was able to hold then from doing too much damage as the Patriots kicked a 38-yard field goal to lead 17-16 after the first half.
In the third quarter, the Patriots extended their lead over the Saints to 24-16 with a 44-yard touchdown run by Tyler Gaffney. The scoring drive came after McCown was picked off in the end zone by Cre'von LeBlanc.
A touchdown pass from McCown to Reggie Bell in the fourth quarter shortened the Patriots lead by two points at 24-22, but a failed pass attempt kept the Saints from being able to tie the game back up with a two-point conversion.
The New England defense helped keep the pressure on New Orleans' offense as defensive end Trey Flowers sacked McCown and recovered the ball to score a 17-yard touchdown, giving the Patriots a 31-22 lead.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 45-yard field goal with less than four minutes in the game to solidify New England's win over the Saints.
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