The New Orleans Saints finished 0-4 in the preseason for the consecutive season following a 23-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
In a bit of an unusual twist Saints quarterback Drew Brees played in the game, the first time he's played in the final preseason game since 2006, his first season with the Saints.
Brees played just the opening possession and finished 3 of 6 for 40 yards, including a nice back-shoulder connection with receiver Willie Snead IV. The Saints scored on the drive when Kai Forbath made a 36-yard field goal. Connor Barth added a 40-yard field goal late in the first quarter.
Most of the starters did not come back after the first series but Andrus Peat remained in to get more reps at left guard after playing most of the preseason at right guard. Luke McCown played most of the rest of the half for the Saints at quarterback until he was replaced following a strip-sack that was recovered by Baltimore in the end zone by Michael Pierce for the lone touchdown in the first half.
Running back Mark Ingram had a strong opening possession as he ran for 21 yards on three carries. VeteranTim Hightower also had an excellent half with eight carries for 24 yards.
The Ravens did not play starting quarterback Joe Flacco or many of their other starters. Ryan Mallett started at quarterback for Baltimore and was replaced by Josh Johnson in the second quarter. Mallett was 8 of 12 for 65 yards. Justin Tucker had three field goals for the Ravens.
Garrett Grayson played the entire second half for the Saints and finished 11 of 16 for 98 yards including a 3-yard touchdown pass to fullback Austin Johnson toward the end of the fourth quarter.
A number of players did not dress out: tackle Terron Armstead, guard Senio Kelemete, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, cornerback Delvin Breaux, tight Michael Hoomananawanui, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, running back Travaris Cadel and linebacker Nate Stupar.
The Saints open the regular season Sunday, Sept. 11 vs. the Oakland Raiders at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome but before that they will have to cut their roster down to 53 players by 3 p.m. Saturday.