Saints can't stop Patriots' big plays

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Super Bowl champion Saints lost their punter and their preseason opener.

New Orleans couldn't stop Patriots big plays Thursday night, and Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 28-yard field goal with 53 seconds left to give New England a 27-24 win.

The kick was set up by a short pass by Zac Robinson that University of Miami standout Darnell Jenkins turned into a 52-yard gain. The Saints also allowed kickoff returns of 52 and 50 yards by first-round draft pick Devin McCourty.

On Saints quarterback Drew Brees' third and final possession, he led a 20-play, 86-yard march that lasted 10:01 and ended with a 2-yard scoring run by Reggie Bush.

Brees completed 9 of 13 passes for 55 yards.

Tom Brady played New England's first two series and went 5-for-8 for 67 yards. The Patriots held out receiver Wes Welker despite his strong comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Without Welker, Julian Edelman had six catches for 90 yards.

The status of Saints punter Thomas Morstead is uncertain. He hurt his shoulder knocking Edelman out of bounds after a 40-yard return. Morstead went to the locker room and returned to the sideline later in the opening quarter, but placekicker Garrett Hartley punted the rest of the game.

RAVENS SHUT DOWN PANTHERS: Joe Flacco guided Baltimore to a pair of scores, and the host Ravens defense held Carolina without a touchdown in a 17-12 preseason victory.

Flacco went 8-for-12 for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Baltimore's Prince Miller broke seven tackles during a 57-yard punt return.

Carolina quarterback Matt Moore, hindered by poor protection and three penalties against left tackle Jordan Gross, failed to produce points during his three possessions. Backup Jimmy Clausen went 8-for-15 for 80 yards and an interception in his NFL debut. He was sacked twice.

dolphin ponders nba: Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall says he has a fallback plan if NFL teams lock out players next year: He'll try out for the NBA. Marshall, 6 feet 4, said he would audition for the Heat or Nuggets as a shooting guard. The former UCF star, in football only, lettered in basketball three times at Lake Howell High in Winter Park.

browns: Starting inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, a former Seminole High star who initially feared he might be lost for the season, might recover from a strained right pectoral muscle in time to face the Bucs in the regular-season opener on Sept. 12.

49ers: Defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer missed his fourth straight day of camp. His absence is still considered unexcused.

giants: Starting cornerback Terrell Thomas (minor leg injury), safety Michael Johnson (back spasms) and free agent receiver Tim Brown (groin and hamstring) did not practice.

jets: The team and representatives for Darrelle Revis will keep contract negotiations confidential after the two sides traded barbs in the media. Revis has missed almost two weeks of camp while seeking to a new deal with an annual value that could make him the highest-paid cornerback in the league.

seahawks: Linebacker Leroy Hill is likely to be out until at least September with a sprained knee.

steelers: Linebacker Andre Frazier will miss the season after being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.

vikings: Quarterback Brett Favre reportedly went to Pensacola to have his surgically repaired left ankle examined by Dr. James Andrews, the key to his decision on returning.

Saints can't stop Patriots' big plays 08/13/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 13, 2010 1:17am]

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