Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - Backup Brian Hoyer threw for a touchdown and the New England Patriots won their preseason opener, 7-6, over the New Orleans Saints.
Tom Brady played the first two offensive series for the Patriots (1-0) and completed 4-of-7 passes for 30 yards, but he was also flattened on a sack and fumbled the ball away.
Drew Brees threw just four passes and played the first two series for the Saints, who were coming off a 17-10 win over Arizona at the Hall of Fame Game Sunday night.
Chase Daniel backed up Brees and went 4-of-6 through the air for 62 yards with an interception. Luke McCown went 9-of-16 for 86 yards passing.
Hoyer connected on 8-of-15 throws for 45 yards, including his three-yard TD pass to Britt Davis in the third quarter to cap a 14-play, 97-yard drive.
Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski played despite having ankle surgery shortly after the team's loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. He caught a pair of passes for 20 yards.
Brady drove the Patriots from their own 17 to near midfield. Facing a 3rd- and-16 from the New England 48, he was sacked by Will Smith. The veteran defensive end stripped the ball and it was recovered by linebacker Curtis Lofton.
Brees' lone completion came on a four-yard pass to Darren Sproles, and the Saints settled for a 46-yard field goal from John Kasay.
Brady came right back for the ensuing possession and he hit Gronkowski for an 11-yard gain on 3rd-and-18.
Garrett Hartley kicked a 27-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter, but Kasay missed a potential go-ahead kick from 41 yards out with 3:07 left.
The Saints (1-1) were pinned deep in their own territory in the final two minutes and punted the ball away.
|Final Team Statistics|
|New Orleans||New England|
|Time of Possession||30:39||29:21|
|New Orleans||- J.Banyard 7-27, T.Cadet 9-26, P.Thomas 2-18, C.Ivory 8-17, C.Daniel 1-4, D.Sproles 1-2, S.Canfield 1-(-2).|
|New England||- S.Vereen 11-64, S.Ridley 8-40, B.Bolden 8-23, D.Woodhead 1-3, R.Mallett 3-(-4).|
|New Orleans||- L.McCown 9-16-0, 86 yards. S.Canfield 6-10-1, 45 yards. C.Daniel 4-6-1, 62 yards. D.Brees 1-4-0, 4 yards.|
|New England||- R.Mallett 8-19-1, 89 yards. B.Hoyer 8-15-0, 45 yards and 1 touchdown. T.Brady 4-7-0, 30 yards.|
|New Orleans||- T.Cadet 6-29, C.Roby 5-85, A.Tanner 4-45, M.Higgins 2-21, J.Morgan 1-7, J.Banyard 1-6, D.Sproles 1-4.|
|New England||- J.Edelman 4-36, D.Woodhead 3-26, R.Gronkowski 2-20, J.Gaffney 2-18, S.Vereen 2-17, E.Kettani 2-12, T.Urban 1-20, A.Hernandez 1-7, J.Ebert 1-4, B.Davis 1-3, D.Stallworth 1-1.|
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