New England hands Saints first loss on late touchdown

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Sean Payton

FOXBROUGH, Mass. - The New Orleans Saints lost 30-27 to the New England Patriots on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium as Tom Brady connected with Kenbrell Thompkins on a 17-yard touchdown pass with five seconds to play.

It was the Saints' first loss of the season dropping their record to 5-1 heading into next week’s bye weekend. The Patriots improved to 5-1 with the win.

“That’s a tough, tough loss,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “I thought in the second half we fought back to get kind of in that thing. It wasn’t always perfect. Typically when it’s not always perfect your opponent is doing something well.

“New England did a very good job kind of containing us offensively. I can be better and need to be, and our staff the same way.”

The Saints appeared in control when quarterback Drew Brees connected with Kenny Stills on a 34-yard touchdown to take a 24-23 lead. The Saints' defense then stopped the Patriots on four downs leading to a 39-yard Garrett Hartley field goal and a 27-23 lead with 2:24 to play.

Then  the Patriots took over at their 30 with 1:13 to play. Brady moved New England down the field until facing a fourth-and-4 on the Saints’ 26-yard line. He converted by hitting Austin Collie for nine yards. After spiking the ball Brady connected with Thompkins for the touchdown.

Brady was 25-of-43 for 269 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The Patriots led 17-7 at halftime as they controlled the action and took the lead behind two touchdown runs in the second quarter by Stevan Ridley. The former LSU players finished with 96 yards on 20 carries.

Brees was 17-of-36 for 236 yards, two touchdowns and one interception which came when he was trying to connect with tight Jimmy Graham. New England's Kyle Arrington made the pick at the Saints’ 20 but the defense held New England to a field goal, which pushed the lead to 23-17.

Stills finished with three catches for 64 yards. Tight end Ben Watson had with three catches for 61 yards. Pierre Thomas carried 11 times for 51 yards and had a reception for 29 yards. Darren Sproles had six receptions for 58 yards and carried five times for 15 yards.

Graham didn't have a catch, the first time that has happened since his rookie season. He left the game briefly but returned. Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan also left the game.