Saints start strong, end with a fizzle in 23-14 loss to Ravens

Saints start strong, end with a fizzle in 23-14 loss to Ravens

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The game started with something Saints fans haven't seen in a decade. Quarterback Drew Brees playing in the fourth preseason game.

The veteran quarterback only played one series, going three-of-six for 40 yards against the Baltimore Ravens. The drive ended with a 36-yard field goal by Kai Forbath that gave the Saints a 3-0 lead.

Brees completed the preseason 18-of-27 for 184 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

After his departure, it became a tale of two quarters. The Saints would give up 16 unanswered points before halftime.

Running back Tim Hightower got the most touches on the ground with eight carries for 24 yards. Mark Ingram picked up 21 yards on three carries. The ground game looked improved in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thursday.

The Saints kicked another field goal before the end of the first quarter. Baltimore responded with two field goals of their own in the second quarter, tying the game 6-6.

Then, Quarterback Luke McCown was sacked near the end of the first half, turning the ball over in the end zone. It was recovered by Michael Pierce. That gave the Ravens their first lead of the game. After the extra point it was 13-6.  The Ravens tacked on one more field goal before halftime to take a 10 point lead.

The Saints are minus-7 on turnovers in the preseason so far.

Joe Flacco didn't play in the game. His backup, Ryan Mallett went 8-for-12 with 65 yards.

Neither defense looked very impressive. The low score can be attributed to lackluster play on the other side of the ball.

The biggest news of the second half came when it was announced Saints offensive lineman Max Unger signed an extension for three years and $21 million. The Saints acquired Unger in a blockbuster trade that sent Jimmy Graham to Seattle. He was recently voted the team's offensive MVP for 2015 by Saints coaches.

Both teams remained scoreless through the third quarter. Ravens quarterback Josh Johnson ended the drought with a two-yard touchdown run with seven minutes left in the game.

Quarterback Garrett Grayson finally got the Saints into the endzone when he hit Austin Johnson for a three-yard pass with 1:53 left in the game. The Saints made their two-point conversion.

On a positive note, no one looked like they were seriously injured for either team during the game.

The Ravens topped the Saints 23-15, as New Orleans fell to 0-4 this preseason.

The Saints will make their final cuts to the roster by Saturday at 3 p.m. The team opens up in the Superdome against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 11.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.