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Game recap: Denver Broncos 25, New Orleans Saints 23

Saints lose heart-breaker after extra point attempt is blocked, returned for two points

Check out the Saints pregame preparation prior to their Week 10 battle against the Broncos.

The New Orleans Saints battled the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos toe-to-toe Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome but lost 25-23 after Wil Lutz's extra-point attempt was blocked and returned for two points.

The Saints had just tied the score on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Brandin Cooks with 1:22 to play and looked like they were going to take the lead on Lutz's extra point. But Justin Simmons jumped in and blocked the kick which was picked up by Will Parks who returned it 84 yards for the two points and a Denver win.

It was a gut-wrenching loss for the Saints (4-5) who were trying to climb above .500 for the first time since 2013 and wasted a strong effort from a defense that had to stay on the field for more than 39 minutes.

The Saints overcame two early Drew Brees interceptions to take a 17-10 second half lead but two fumbles by rookie receiver Michael Thomas set up a Broncos touchdown and field goal.

The Saints defense turned in a strong effort, sacking Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian six times and intercepting him twice.The longest play the unit surrendered was for 18 yards. By comparison, the Saints had eight plays of 18 yards or more with the longest going for 37 yards.

The Saints did allow Denver to convert 11-of-19 third-down attempts. Denver possessed the ball for more than 39 minutes, a huge advantage in time of possession.

The Broncos improved to 7-3 heading into their bye week.

Denver safety Darian Stewart had a huge game, making the two interceptions on back-to-back plays and recovering one of Thomas' fourth-quarter fumbles.

Thomas' first fumble set up a 2-yard pass from Siemian to Demaryius Thomas. After a Saints punt, the Broncos scored on a 28-yard field goal from Brandon McManus. He added a 37-yard field goal following Thomas' second fumble. He made a 50-yarder in the first half.

The first interception ended a Saints scoring drive at the 7-yard line while the second set up a 50-yard field goal by Brandon McManus. The Broncos scored on their opening drive of the game, cashing in on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Siemian to Jordan Taylor. The play was initially ruled incomplete but the Broncos challenged the call and had it overturned.

The Saints defense sacked Siemian six times, one by Nick Fairley, one by Cameron Jordan, one by Sheldon Rankins, one by Dannell Ellerbe, one by Kenny Vaccaro and one by Craig Robertson.

Saints left guard Senio Kelemete had to leave the game in the first half but returned.

The Saints will play last season's NFC champions, Carolina, on the road Thursday.

Saints stat leaders

QB Drew Brees, 21 of 29 for 303 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions

RB Mark Ingram, 11 carries for 50 yards

WR Willie Snead, five catches for 47 yards and two TDs

Broncos stat leaders

QB Trevor Siemian, 25 of 40 for 258 yards with two TDs and two interceptions

RB Devontae Booker, 24 carries for 76 yards

WR Demaryius Thomas, eight catches for 87 yards and one TD

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