The New Orleans Saints (0-1) will go back out on the road for the second consecutive week when they travel to FirstEnergy Stadium to face the Cleveland Browns (0-1). The game will start at 12:00 p.m. CT. This will be only the fourth time in franchise history and the first time since 2007 that New Orleans plays its first two games of the season on the road. This will be the 17th meeting between the two teams with the Browns leading the series, 12-4.
New Orleans dropped a 37-34 overtime kickoff weekend decision to the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Sunday as they opened up their 2014 season in NFC South play. QB Drew Brees threw for 333 yards with a touchdown to rookie WR Brandin Cooks and RB Mark Ingram rushed for his second three-yard touchdown of the contest with 1:20 left to give the Saints a 34-31 lead. However, the Falcons countered with back-to-back field goals by K Matt Bryant to pull out the victory, including a gametying 51-yarder at the end of regulation and a 52-yard game-winning kick in overtime following a New Orleans turnover.
"That's a tough game to lose," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "I just finished telling our players every once in a while you get one of those games where the scores go back and forth and the small details, especially when you are in overtime, magnify any mistake. I thought we played hard, yet it still wasn't good enough. Credit Atlanta. They did a great job. It's a tough way to start, but we will bounce back."
Offensively, New Orleans put up 477 total net yards, including 139 yards on the ground. The running backs trio of Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson accounted for 119 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, while Thomas also added six receptions for 58 yards. WR Brandin Cooks, the 20th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Oregon State, saw extensive action in his NFL debut and made an impact in the receiving, running and return games. He finished with seven receptions for 77 yards with one touchdown, an 18-yard rush in the second quarter to move the Saints into Falcons territory, as well as handling punt return duties.
Defensively, ILB Curtis Lofton led New Orleans with 10 tackles (seven solo), the 44th double-digit tackle total of his seven-year career and 15th as a Saint. Late in the first quarter, S Jairus Byrd in his Saints debut, stripped a ball in the end zone that was recovered by CB Corey White.
This Week In The NFC South: The Atlanta Falcons travel to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host St. Louis and Carolina hosts Detroit.