The New Orleans Saints fall to 0-2 in week two after being defeated on the road by the Cleveland Browns 26-24.
The Browns defense got off to a hot start, the first play of the game set the pace for the Browns. Drew Brees mishandled the snap and was forced to throw it away. The next drive Brees was sacked by Paul Kruger, pinning the saints at the 1 yard line.
“We’re one play away in both games from being 2-0 instead of 0-2. That hurts.” – Saints QB Drew Brees
The first score of the game came from a 3-yard touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer to Miles Austin. Giving the Browns their first lead of the game 7-0.
Billy Cundiff pushes the Browns’ lead even further, 10-0, ending the first quarter with a 32 yard field.
In the 2nd quarter Browns pro-bowl cornerback, Joe Haden had an injury scare but soon returned.
With 5:20 left in the first half, Saints settle for a Shayne Graham 27-yard field goal. Browns still up on the Saints 10-3.
Browns secure their lead for the first half, when Tashaun Gipson picks off Drew Brees and returned it for a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown, Clevelnd up 16-3. The snap was then mishandled on the PAT, and S. Lanning picked up the ball and rushed to the right but came up short of two-point conversion.
Sep 14, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
With :03 seconds left in the half, Brees hits Jimmy Graham for a 9-yard touchdown, pushing the score 16-10 and leaving the Saints going into halftime only down by 6.
With 9:23 left in the third quarter Graham scores his second touchdown of the game with a 1-yard pass from Drew Brees, giving the Saints their first lead in the game 17-16.
Browns soon take back the lead with a 9 yard touchdown from Terrance West, 22-17.
Saints answer back when Mark Ingram gets his own rushing touchdown to retake the lead 24-23 with 12 minutes left in the game.
Sep 14, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns kicker Billy Cundiff (8) hits the game winning field goal as punter Spencer Lanning (5) holds against the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
Down 24-23, Browns took over in the shadow of their own end zone, leaving it all up to Saints defense to Cleveland and secure the win. Hoyer, without suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon and injured Pro Bowl tight end Ben Tate, marched the Browns down the field from their own 4 to the New Orleans 11.
He completed two passes on third down and kept the drive alive by firing his 10 yard strike to Andrew Hawkins with only 13 second to go in the game.
Out came Billy Cundiff and drilled in his kick for the game winning 29-yard field goal, and its good, delighting Browns fans and devasting Saints fans in a blink of an eye.
The win moved the Browns 1-1 but was also head Coach Mike Pettine’s first NFL win. Pettine took over the team in January of 2014.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” Pettine, who was presented with the game ball by Hoyer, said. “There were a lot of times during the game we could have let it slip, but we battled back. This games about making plays, and thats what we did here today.”
The loss for the Saints moves them to 0-2 after losing to the Falcons in last weeks season opener. It leaves many questions and uncertaintties about where New Orleans stands this season.
“Its frustrating because we expect to win,” Brees said. “You can point to one play in each of these games. We’re one play away in both games from being 2-0 instead of 0-2. That hurts.”
Browns win 26-24