NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Saints defense held the Ravens scoreless in the second half, but it wasn't enough to come away with the victory. They fall to Baltimore 14-13 to finish the preseason 2-2.
The defense started strong and forced a pair of Ravens punts, but they were eventually put in a hole and allowed Baltimore to take an early lead.
It started going downhill on the Saints' second possession when Chase Daniel threw an interception to Ravens defensive tackle Carl Davis, who returned it inside the Saints 10 yard line. From there, Ryan Mallett found Chris Moore in the back of the endzone to make it 7-0 Ravens.
The next possession wasn't much better for the black and gold. After running back Daniel Lasco picked up a big run to near midfield, a pair of sloppy throws from Daniel went incomplete and forced them to punt.
Again, the Saints defense stood tall, but they weren't done any favors. Near the end of the first quarter, Lasco fumbled and once again allowed the Ravens to take over deep in Saints' territory.
However, this time the black and gold defense was able to bail them out. Al-Quadin Muhammad got to Thaddeus Lewis in the backfield and forced a fumble. David Onyemata recovered to keep Baltimore from extending their lead.
But even when the Saints did enough to into Ravens territory, special teams didn't hold up their end of the bargain. It was déjà vu as the Ravens blocked Wil Lutz's field goal attempt to keep the score at 7-0.
That gave Baltimore some momentum, and on the ensuing drive, Lewis led them on a scoring drive that culminated with a Bobby Rainey touchdown to give the Ravens a 14-0 lead.
Finally, the Saints would get on the board in the last minute of the first half with a Daniel to Josh Hill connection down the middle for a touchdown.
The second half was a different story. Led by rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib, the Saints marched down the field and capped off their second drive of the half with a Wil Lutz field goal to make it 14-10.
Then once again in the fourth quarter, Nassib led the Saints to points. Wil Lutz added another three points with a booming 48-yard field goal to cut the lead to one, 14-13.
But despite everything the defense did, including an outstanding Al-Quadin Muhammad tackle for a loss on third down to give the Saints the ball back, they came up short of reasonable field goal range. Lutz missed wide on a 59-yard attempt with just seconds left on the clock.
The Saints are now tasked with trimming the roster from 90 to 53 over the next few days ahead of their Monday Night Football season opener against the Vikings on Sept. 11.