After a 20-14 loss at the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night at First Energy Stadium, the New Orleans Saints (0-1) will face the Los Angeles Chargers (0-1) at 7 p.m. central Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., as they continue their 2017 preseason slate.
New Orleans and Los Angeles will be familiar with each other by kickoff after they participated in joint practices at the Chargers practice facility in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Chargers lead the regular season series 7-5 and have a 4-2 lead in the preseason, but New Orleans has captured the last three regular season meetings. The two clubs last met at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on Oct. 2, 2016 with the Saints stealing a dramatic come-from-behind 35-34 victory.
New Orleans looks to rebound from Thursday's loss at Cleveland, while Los Angeles lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 48-17 on Sunday in their StubHub Center debut.
In what started as a defensive battle in the first half, New Orleans kicker Wil Lutz drilled 22- and 42-yard field goals sandwiched around a one-yard touchdown run by Browns rookie RB Matthew Dayes. Following a scoreless third quarter that featured a sack by DE Alex Jenkins and DT David Onyemata, QB Ryan Nassib connected on a two-yard touchdown to WR Tommylee Lewis followed by a successful two-point conversion attempt by RB Daniel Lasco to give New Orleans a 14-7 lead. Cleveland barely escaped following a touchdown with 1:58 left. The game featured several notable individual performances by numerous Saints looking to earn a roster spot.
Saints signal callers completed 69.4 percent of their passes altogether on the evening in a contest where Drew Brees did not play. Nassib completed 10-of-14 throws for 110 yards with the scoring pass and a 118.2 passer rating. Chase Daniel started the contest and executed on four -of-six throws. Garrett Grayson completed 11-of-16 throws for a team-high 116 yards.
In his NFL debut, RB Alvin Kamara, one of the club's three third round draft picks, powered the running game with four carries for 35 yards, including a burst for a 22-yard gain.
In addition to Lewis, WR Brandon Coleman paced the passing game with three receptions for 23 yards and WR Jake Lampman also had two catches for 33 yards.
Defensively, New Orleans allowed the Browns to only convert four-of-14 third down conversions and held them to 71 yards rushing on 22 attempts (3.2 avg.).
Individually, CB P.J. Williams led New Orleans with six solo tackles. DE Mitchell Loewen, competing for a roster spot on the Saints defensive line, led New Orleans with 1.5 sacks. A pair of rookies in ends Alex Jenkins and Al Quadin Muhammad added one takedown and one pass defensed and a split sack respectively. Second-year DT David Onyemata led the defensive line with five stops (four solo) and also forced a fumble.