The New Orleans Saints fought back from 24-7 deficit to tie the score at 24-all with 2:40 remaining in the contest but it wasn't enough as the Patriots escaped Gillette Stadium with 27-24 win Thursday night in each team's preseason opener.
New England outgained the Saints in total net yards by a 329-305 margin.
In a quarter and a half of action, QB Drew Brees completed 9-of-13 passes for 55 yards. Reggie Bushand RB Pierre Thomas combined for 44 yards rushing, while Thomas also led the club in receiving through halftime with four receptions for 26 yards.
Ramsey was solid in his Saints debut completing seven of his 11 attempts for 111 yards.
RBs Chris Ivoryand P.J. Hill led the Saints in rushing as they each posted 30 yards. Bush and Ivory each scored a rushing touchdown
WR Adrian Arrington hauled in four receptions for 87 yards. TE Jeremy Shockeycollected three balls for 23 yards.
Defensively, LB Jonathan Casillas, who replaced Scott Shanleon the weak side, led New Orleans on defense with 10 solo tackles.
The Saints went three-and-out on their first drive. After the Saints elected to punt, Thomas Morsteadwas injured when pushing Patriots returner Julian Edelman out of bounds at the New Orleans 19-yard line.
Morstead went to the locker room for X-rays and returned shortly in uniform but the Saints medical staff ruled him out for the rest of the contest.
The Patriots struck first with a 35-yard field goal by KStephen Gotskowskito go up 3-0 at the 13:04 mark in the first quarter.
After another three-and-out by the Saints, the Patriots passing attack began to shine as Brady went 4-5 for 45 yards, including three passes of 20-yards are more. The drive was capped off with a six-yard touchdown run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis to increase the Patriots' lead to 10-0. New England held their 10-0 advantage to end the first quarter.
The Saints responded on the next drive with a mix of quick passes fro, Brees and nice runs by Bush and Thomas. Bush ran in for a two-yard touchdown at the 9:36 mark in the second quarter to trim the Patriots lead to 10-7.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer entered the game for the Patriots on the next drive and picked up where Brady left off as he led the Patriots to their second touchdown of the game on a 10-plays, 79-yards drive ending with a five-yard touchdown run by RB Laurence Maroney.
Newly acquired quarterback Patrick Ramseyentered the game for the Saints on the next drive. Brees finished day connecting on nine of his 13 passes for 55 yards.
Neither team could add to their score for the rest of the first half as the Patriots entered the locker room at intermission with a 17-7 lead.
The Patriots opened the second half with a 52-yard kickoff return by rookie DBDevin McCourty.* *McCourty's return led to Maroney's second rushing score of the game on a one-yard run up the middle to put the Pats up 24-7 at the 10:38 mark in the 3rd quarter.
The Saints special teams' unit retaliated with a dazzling 97-yard return for touchdown by WR Larry Beaversto put the Patriots lead at 24-14 with 10:35 remaining in the third quarter. * *
After the Saints stuffed the Patriots on three straight downs, Ramsey opened the drive a 51-yard strike to Arrington, which led to a two-yard touchdown run by rookie RB Chris Ivory.Ivory's score trimmed the Patriots lead to 24-21 with 7:18 left in the third quarter.
Both squads went scoreless for the remainder of the third quarter. Hartley broke a scoreless drought with 2:40 remaining in the game when he booted a 23-yard field goal to knot the score at 24-all.
The Patriots successfully milked the clock on their next drive as they knocked 1:47 off the scoreboard on a nine-play 63-yard drive that ended with a 28-yard field goal by Gotskowski to put the Patriots ahead 27-24.
QB Chase Danielwas intercepted by LB Eric Alexanderon the following drive to seal the Patriots 27-24 victory.