New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints

NE
36
NO
20
FINAL
1234T
NE 20103336
NO 3100720

Game Information
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, Louisiana
Attendance: 73,168

NEW ORLEANS (AP) If Tom Brady and the Patriots were suffering from a Super Bowl hangover, it looks as though a trip to New Orleans pulled the defending champions out of it.

The 40-year-old Brady hasn't often looked better in his long, illustrious career, providing an audible contingent of traveling Patriots fans ample reason to spend the rest of their Sunday celebrating in the French Quarter.

"Hopefully they're all on Bourbon Street," said Brady, whose name was chanted by fans as the game wound down, and again when he walked across the field to the team bus. "It was a good road game to come to."

Bouncing back with a vengeance from a season-opening loss , Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter for the first time in his career, eclipsed 300 yards passing in the first half for only the second time, and New England scored 30 first-half points en route to a 36-20 victory over the winless Saints.

"Being 0-1 with a 10-day break felt like a year," Brady said, alluding to a Thursday night loss to Kansas City in Week 1. "All the veterans had a chance to say the things they wanted to say to their different (position) groups. ... I'm glad we executed. There were a lot of tight plays and we made them."

Saints coach Sean Payton bemoaned another poor outing by his defense, which also gave up a slew of quick strike plays to Minnesota in Week 1 .

"We've got the right type of locker room, but we're going to have to respond quickly," Payton said. "We'll find out a little bit about what we're made of."

Brady's maiden Super Bowl triumph in the Superdome back in February 2002 is bound to be one of his fondest memories, but the 18-year veteran looked like a superior QB in his latest visit. He finished 30 of 39 for 447 yards. He committed no turnovers - at least not any that counted. Saints defenders twice caught Brady's passes, but both plays were wiped out by New Orleans penalties. Brady joined Warren Moon as the only QBs 40 or older in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards and 3 TDs in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Rob Gronkowski had a 53-yard catch and run to highlight his six-catch, 116-yard performance , but left the game in the second half with a groin injury .

In Brady and the Saints' Drew Brees, the game featured the NFL's top two active quarterbacks in terms of career yards and touchdowns. Their 922 TD passes and 128,251 yards passing combined coming in represented the most in NFL history by starting QBs the same game.

But in this matchup, Brees couldn't keep up.

He was 27 of 45 for 356 yards and two TDs. The Saints' desperation to stay close was encapsulated by a failed attempt to convert a fourth down - despite being in field goal range on the Patriots 25-yard line - with 2:27 left in the first half and New England up by 13.

Brady responded by quickly marching the Patriots to the Saints 10 to set up Stephen Gostkowski's field goal, making it 30-13 at halftime.

When asked to explain what's wrong with New Orleans, it seemed Brees wasn't sure where to begin.

"Unfortunately, it's just been a little bit everything right now," he said.

FAST START

The Patriots' first three drives ended with a 19-yard TD pass to Rex Burkhead, Gronkowski's long TD and a 13-yard scoring pass to Chris Hogan.

New Orleans briefly rallied with Brees' 5-yard TD pass to Brandon Coleman and Wil Lutz's field goal on consecutive drives, pulling as close as 20-13. But New England responded with Mike Gillislee's short scoring run on a drive highlighted by downfield passes to Gronkowski, Hogan and former Saint Brandin Cooks.

"Our team responded well to this week of practice," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "We made some plays early in the game. We were able to play from ahead, and that was a good thing. A lot of different people contributed."

SEPTEMBERS TO FORGET

The Saints are now 1-11 in September since 2014, having begun 0-2 in four straight campaigns. The Saints have finished 7-9 the past three seasons.

"It puts you in a little bit of a hole, but we can't cry over spilled milk here," Brees said. "We've got to find a way to get a win."

INJURIES

Patriots: In addition to Gronkowski's groin injury, Burkhead had a rib injury in the second half. Hogan appeared to trying to treat soreness in his right leg in the second half. DB Eric Rowe was treated for a groin injury.

Saints: Rookie CB Marshon Lattimore left the game to be evaluated for a concussion. DE Trey Hendrickson left the game late in the first quarter with what the club described as a leg injury. DE Mitch Loewen needed help off the field after injuring his left leg in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Patriots: return home to face the Houston Texans.

Saints: open NFC South divisional play at Carolina.

---

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Share
1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Patriots Saints
10:31 Rex Burkhead 19 yd pass from Tom Brady (missed kick) 6 0
07:38 Wil Lutz 46 yd FG 6 3
05:29 Rob Gronkowski 53 yd pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick) 13 3
00:16 Chris Hogan 13 yd pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick) 20 3

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Patriots Saints
11:52 Brandon Coleman 5 yd pass from Drew Brees (Wil Lutz kick) 20 10
08:18 Wil Lutz 35 yd FG 20 13
04:47 Mike Gillislee 2 yd run (Stephen Gostkowski kick) 27 13
00:00 Stephen Gostkowski 28 yd FG 30 13

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Patriots Saints
00:40 Stephen Gostkowski 24 yd FG 33 13

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Patriots Saints
08:49 Stephen Gostkowski 27 yd FG 36 13
05:04 Coby Fleener 4 yd pass from Drew Brees (Wil Lutz kick) 36 20

Team Stats
  New England New Orleans
1st Downs 29 20
Total Yards 555 429
Passing 436 348
Passing Completions/Attempts 30-39 27-45
Yards/Pass 10.6 7.6
Rushing 119 81
Rushing Attempts 31 17
Yards/Rush 3.8 4.8
Turnovers 0 0
Fumbles Lost 0 0
Interceptions Thrown 0 0
Possession 35:06 24:54

New England Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Tom Brady 30 39 447 11.5 3 0

New Orleans Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Drew Brees 27 45 356 7.9 2 0

New England Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Mike Gillislee 18 69 3.8 1 13
Dion Lewis 4 14 3.5 0 13
James White 2 11 5.5 0 7
Tom Brady 2 9 4.5 0 7
Phillip Dorsett 1 7 7.0 0 7
Brandin Cooks 2 6 3.0 0 13
Rex Burkhead 2 3 1.5 0 2

New Orleans Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Mark Ingram 8 52 6.5 0 28
Adrian Peterson 8 26 3.2 0 6
Alvin Kamara 1 3 3.0 0 3

New England Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Rob Gronkowski 6 116 19.3 1 53
James White 8 85 10.6 0 24
Chris Hogan 5 78 15.6 1 27
Phillip Dorsett 3 68 22.7 0 38
Rex Burkhead 3 41 13.7 1 19
Brandin Cooks 2 37 18.5 0 22
Dion Lewis 1 11 11.0 0 11
James Develin 1 6 6.0 0 6
Jacob Hollister 1 5 5.0 0 5
Dwayne Allen 0 0 0.0 0

New Orleans Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Michael Thomas 5 89 17.8 0 33
Brandon Coleman 4 82 20.5 1 42
Alvin Kamara 3 51 17.0 0 38
Coby Fleener 3 33 11.0 1 20
Josh Hill 3 29 9.7 0 13
Mark Ingram 4 24 6.0 0 14
Ted Ginn Jr. 3 24 8.0 0 12
Tommylee Lewis 1 16 16.0 0 16
Michael Hoomanawanui 1 8 8.0 0 8

New England Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Patrick Chung 7 1 0 0
Elandon Roberts 7 1 0 0
Devin McCourty 4 1 0 0
Eric Rowe 3 0 0 0
Kyle Van Noy 3 1 0 0
Deatrich Wise Jr. 2 0 1 8
Malcolm Butler 2 0 0 0
Stephon Gilmore 2 0 0 0
Lawrence Guy 2 1 0 0
Duron Harmon 2 1 0 0
Jonathan Jones 2 0 0 0
Jordan Richards 2 0 0 0
Trey Flowers 1 1 0 0
Malcom Brown 0 1 0 0
Joe Cardona 0 0 0 0
Marquis Flowers 0 0 0 0
Harvey Langi 0 0 0 0
Cassius Marsh 0 0 0 0

New Orleans Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
P.J. Williams 8 2 0 0
Marshon Lattimore 6 1 0 0
Kenny Vaccaro 5 0 0 0
Alex Anzalone 4 1 1 4
De'Vante Harris 4 0 0 0
Alex Okafor 4 0 0 0
Vonn Bell 3 2 0 0
Tyeler Davison 3 1 0 0
Cameron Jordan 3 1 0 0
Sterling Moore 3 0 0 0
Marcus Williams 3 2 0 0
Manti Te'o 2 1 0 0
Hau'oli Kikaha 1 0 1 7
Rafael Bush 1 0 0 0
Trey Hendrickson 1 2 0 0
A.J. Klein 1 1 0 0
Trey Edmunds 0 0 0 0

New England Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

New Orleans Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

New England Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Chris Hogan 0.0

New Orleans Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Alvin Kamara 3 71 23.7 0 34
Trey Edmunds 2 43 21.5 0 27

New England Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Patrick Chung 1 0 0.0 0 0

New Orleans Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Ted Ginn Jr. 1 16 16.0 0 16

New England Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Stephen Gostkowski 3 3 100.0 28

New Orleans Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Wil Lutz 2 3 67.0 46

New England Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Ryan Allen 3 111 57

New Orleans Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Thomas Morstead 3 121 51