That’s right, feel free to run laps around your room now because America’s most popular sport is finally back; and no offense to baseball, but thank goodness. The New Orleans Saints had their pre-season opener at the New England Patriots last night, ushering in the beginning of the 2012 NFL season. Considering the turbulent off-season that the Saints have had to endure, many were unsure as to how they would perform in their first game-type situation and one of those penalized for the upcoming season put his mark on the game early. The Saints massive defensive lineman Will Smith who is suspended for the first 4 games of the 2012 regular season had a crushing sack on the Patriots Tom Brady, forcing him to fumble the ball, in the first quarter. The Patriots defense had its fair share of outstanding plays though intercepting New Orleans twice including one by safety Patrick Chung. Though the Saints won last week in the Hall of Fame Game against the Arizona Cardinals 17-10 with quarterback Drew Brees going 4-5 with a touchdown in one drive where, conversely, against New England he only went 1-4 in two series. Not quite the offensive shoot-out we expected from the teams who were among the best in point production last season.
The Saints struck first, scoring a field goal in the first quarter and maintaining a 3-0 lead until the third quarter. The Pats stormed back in the third quarter with a 97-yard drive led by back-up Brian Hoyer to Britt Davis for a 3-yard score. This gave New England a 7-3 lead that would end up being all they needed in this defensive battle as they went on to win 7-6 due to one more field goal in the fourth quarter from the Saints. With both of these teams having staged interactive practices together it is no surprise that, although a “meaningless” game, the score was so close as well as the total yard production with the Saints edging the Patriots 280-279. Ultimately, it most definitely was the first game played for these teams in almost half a year so rustiness was to be expected but do not for a second sleep on these two franchises who have both won Super Bowl Title(s) in the modern era.
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