Saints Defeat Raiders, 28-20
Nick Toon #88 of the New Orleans Saints catches a pass in front of Tracy Porter #31 of the Oakland Raiders during a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 16, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The New Orleans Saints won their second-consecutive preseason game on Friday night, defeating the Oakland Raiders, 28-20, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
With the starters playing most of the first half, New Orleans dominated the first two quarters, scoring 23 unanswered points, before Oakland was finally able to score late in the second quarter.
The Saints got on the board on their first drive of the game, when Garrett Hartley nailed a long 53-yard field goal, capping off 6-play, 22-yard drive, giving them a 3-0 lead at the 9:53 mark of the initial quarter.
On their next possession, quarterback Drew Brees hit receiver Nick Toon with a 56-yard pass, setting up a Mark Ingram 2-yard run at the 7:31 mark, giving New Orleans a 10-0 advantage.
The Saints extended that lead to 17-0 at the :27 mark of the first quarter, when Brees connected with Kenny Stills on a 16-yard touchdown pass, which concluded a 9-play, 78-yard drive, and wrapped-up the first quarter scoring.
Hartley added two more field goals for the only scores of the second quarter, with the first coming at the 10:23 mark from 31 yards out, and the second coming at the 3:07 mark from 30 yards away.
The two kicks gave Hartley three in the first half, and gave New Orleans a 23-0 lead.
Oakland was able to get on the scoreboard late in the second quarter, when quarterback Matt Flynn hit Denarius Moore with an 18-yard touchdown pass at the :37 mark of the half. The throw capped off an 11-play, 82-yard drive, and cut the New Orleans lead to 23-7, which is how the half ended
The Saints out-gained the Raiders, in terms of first half total yardage, 240-130, including a 202-96 advantage through the air, and totaled 14 first half first downs, compared to only six for Oakland, with the last four coming on that final drive of the half.
New Orleans had five quarterbacks sacks in the first half, while not allowing one themselves.
Brees led the way for the Saints in the opening half, completing 14-of-18 passes, for 202 yards, along with one touchdown, and no interceptions, while Matt Flynn paced the Raiders, going 12-of-16, for 124 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.
Turnovers helped the Raiders close the gap late in the third quarter, with the first points coming at the 3:57 mark, when David Bass sacked New Orleans quarterback Seneca Wallace, forcing a fumble, which was recovered by Oakland's Ryan Robinson, and returned for a one-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 23-14.
Two plays later from scrimmage, Oakland linebacker Omar Gaither intercepted a Wallace pass, which set-up an Eddy Carmona 47-yard field goal at the :19 mark, as the Raiders trimmed the New Orleans lead to 23-17, which is how the third quarter ended.
The Raiders gained only 15 yards in third quarter, yet capitalized on the two turnovers, to outscore the Saints in the quarter, 10-7, giving them 17 unanswered points.
Oakland continued to put the pressure on the home team at the beginning of the fourth quarter, when Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 50-yard field goal at the 12:32 mark, completing a 5-play, 11-yard drive, making it 20 unanswered points, and cutting the New Orleans lead to 23-20.
The Saints had an opportunity to score at the 8:02 mark of the final quarter, when they moved the football to the Oakland 1-yard line, before having the drive stall, after they were turned back on a fourth down play.
While the Raiders got the football, they were deep in their own territory, and two plays later, the New Orleans defense tackled Jamize Olawale in the end zone for a safety, giving the Saints their first points since the second quarter, and extending their lead to 25-20 at the 7:28 mark of the final frame.
The Saints got the football back, after the free kick, and put three more points on the board, as quarterback Ryan Griffin led them on a 9-play, 73-yard drive that was capped off by a 28-yard field goal by Hartley, his fourth of the evening, making the score 28-20.
The Raiders, in their last possession, were unable to put any points on the board, as Jim Leonhard intercepted a pass for the Saints, sealing the eight-point win.
New Orleans finished the game with 369 total yards, compared to 185 for Oakland, who scored 13 second half points, despite gaining only 55 yards.
The Saints out-gained the Raiders, in terms of passing yards, 286-123, and also finished with a 23-10 advantage in first downs.
New Orleans finished the night with seven sacks, while allowing only two
Khiry Robinson led the Saints in rushing, carrying the football ten times for 50 yards.
With the win, the Saints improved to 2-0 in the preseason, while the Raiders fell to 1-1.
New Orleans returns to preseason action on Sunday, August 25, when they travel to Houston, Texas to take on the Houston Texans.