FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — On the day the Patriots honored WR great Julian Edelman at Gillette Stadium, the team could have used his help on the field. Mac Jones threw three interceptions in the game, one a pick-six and another that led to a touchdown.
After both teams traded three-and-outs their first possessions to start the game, the Saints struck first. QB Jameis Winston hit RB Alvin Kamara cutting up the middle for an 11-yard TD score, giving them the lead 7-0.
The next drive for the Patriots resulted in the first two plays going for a total of -6 yards, before Jones hit WR Kendrick Bourne for a 14-yard gain, but left them a couple of yards short, forcing the Pats to punt.
The Saints started their next drive from their own 15-yard line and were able to move it down to the Patriots 34-yard line before the defense came up with a stop on 4th and 3.
Kicker Aldrick Rosas came in for the 52-yard field attempt, but missed it left, keeping the game at 7-0.
Just like the start of the game, the two teams traded three-and-outs the begin the 2nd quarter.
On their next possession, the Patriots were able to get it to mid-field before they were forced to punt on a 4th and 4, hoping to set the defense up with good field possession. However, Jake Bailey’s punt was blocked by special teamer Andrew Dowell, recovered by the Saints and gave them a 1st down at mid-field.
The Saints were able to move the ball into field goal range, however Rosas again was wide left on a 36-yarder, still keeping the the game 7-0.
The Patriots then seemed to be getting the offense together after Jones hit WR Jakobi Meyers for a 17-yard gain. But after two incomplete passes, on 3rd and 10, the Saints got a pass rush up the middle, putting pressure on Jones and hitting him while he threw the ball. The throw was picked off by Saints CB P.J. Williams, who returned it to the New England 9-yard line.
After stops on the first two downs, the DB Kyle Dugger seemed to have sacked Winston, but the Saints QB was able to somehow get the throw off and complete it for the endzone to Montravius Adams for the score, making it 14-0 Saints.
With 1:44 left in the half, the Patriots went into “Two Minute Drill” mode and moved the ball from their 35-yard line to the Saints 22-yard line, only using one minute off the clock. But a false start penalty on 4th and 1 by Hunter Henry backed them up 5-yards, forcing the field goal unit to come out.
Kicker Nick Folk hit a 45-yard field goal to put the Patriots on the board, trailing 14-3 at the half.
The 3rd quarter could not have started any worse for Jones and the Patriots. On their first play, He tried to hit TE Jonnu Smith on a crossing route, but the pass was bobbled and picked off by SS Malcolm Jenkins, who returned it untouched 34-yards for the TD, putting the Saints up 21-3.
The Patriots then went on a 72-yard, 9:05 drive, but the drive came to an end at the New Orleans 8-yard line with a Nick Folk 26-yard field goal, making it 21-6.
After a few more punts buy both sides, the Pats turned a quick 1:06, 3 play, 44-yard drive into seven points when Jones hit Bourne for a 22-yard TD, after he was able to tip toe the sideline for the last couple yards, cutting the Saints lead to 21-13.
On their next possession, the Saints took almost seven minutes off the clock on a 75-yard drive, ending with QB Taysom Hill punching it in, making it 28-13 with just 2:37 left in the game.
That was too much for Jones and the Patriots to overcome as they fall to 1-2 on the year. Next week is the game of the year for the Patriots as they welcome back Tom Brady to Gillette Stadium as the Pats host the Bucs.