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Saints Defeat Chargers 36-21

Saints post 552 total net yards

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 The New Orleans Saints won their second straight preseason game by defeating the San Diego Chargers 38-20 in front of a paid attendance of 70,031 at the Superdome Friday night.

In two preseason home games, the Saints have scored 74 points and totaled 961 net yards.

QB Drew Breesspearheaded the Saints 552-net yards performance by completing 18 of 27 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Brees and QB Patrick Ramseycompleted passes to 15 different players, highlighted by RB Reggie Bush'sgame bests seven receptions and 70 yards.

Undrafted rookie RB Chris Ivorytotaled a game-best in rushing yards for the second straight week with 45 yards on 11 carries. Ivory also made the play of the night with a 76-yard touchdown reception in the middle of the third quarter.

LB Jonathan Vilmaled the Saints' defensive attack with seven tackles, two for loss.

RB Jacob Hester put the Chargers on the scoreboard first with a six-yard run up the middle at the 8:22 mark in the first quarter.

The Saints tied the score with five seconds left in the first quarter. Brees tossed a bomb to Henderson and No. 19 tipped it away from Chargers DB Antoine Cason and made an acrobatic 46-yd touchdown grab.

Brees' rhythm carried over on New Orleans' first drive of the second quarter as he fired a bullet over the middle to TE Jeremy Shockey for a 21-yard gain despite taking a late hit. Brees connected with Meachem twice on the drive for 28 total yards, including a 15-yard touchdown to give the Saints a 14-7 lead with 9:35 remaining in the first half. On the touchdown, Bush picked up a crucial block on a blitzing S Steve Gregory to give Brees enough time for the score.

Both of the Saints first two scoring drives took seven plays, went for 80-plus yards and ran less than 4:08 off the clock.

The Charges knotted the score when QB Phillip Riversfound WR Malcom Floyd in the left corner of the endzone for a nine-yard TD with 3:54 left in the second quarter.

With 1:50 remaining in the first half, the Saints got the ball on the their own nine-yard line. Brees completed his last seven passes of the first half for 89 yards, including four to Bush for 61 yards. The Saints offense drove to the San Diego 22-yard where K Garrett Hartleynailed a 40-yard field goal to put the Saints back on top at 17-14 with 42 seconds remaining in the first half. 

Ramsey came in the game at the 6:42 mark in the third quarter. In three preseason games, Brees has completed 32 of 50 attempts for 331 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Ramsey completed four of his eight attempts on his first drive, including a beautiful 33-yard pass to WR Courtney Roby.The drive ended with a 27-yard field goal to increase the Saints' lead to 20-14 at the end of the third quarter.

Hartley hit his second field goal on the night with a 27-yard kick to put the Saints up 20-14 with 50 seconds left in third quarter.

With 10 seconds left in the third quarter, Chargers QB Billy Volekwent deep for WR Buster Davisbut DB Usama Youngpicked it off.

At the 7:18 mark in the fourth quarter, Ivory* *made the play of the night when he took a short pas from Ramsey and dashed 76 yards for a score to give the Saints a 26-14 lead. Two minutes later, the Chargers drove down the field and Volek dove through the middle for a 1-yard touchdown score to cut the Saintslead to 26-21.

Hartley continued to keep the Saints ahead as he hit his third FG of the night by nailing a 35-yard kick with 1:47 left in the contest.

With the Saints leading 29-21 and the Chargers on the Saints' 26-yardline, Volek attempted to reach RB Shawnbrey McNealbut DB Leigh Torrencestepped in front of the pass and returned for 87 yards for a touchdown to cap off the Saints 38-20 victory.

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