QB Drew Brees has thrown three scores and the Saints defense has forced two turnovers through the first three quarters as New Orleans leads the Oakland Raiders, 35-10.
The Oakland Raiders won the coin toss and chose to receive to begin the two team’s first matchup since 2008. The Saints defense was able to hold the Raiders on their opening possession and forced a punt by P Shane Lechler.
Starting at their own 20-yard line, QB Drew Brees and the Saints offense wasted no time moving the ball down the field. Brees completed five of six passes for 41 yards while RBs Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas added 39 yards on the ground. Brees capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to TE Jimmy Graham, extending his NFL-record streak of consecutive games with a TD pass to 53. K Garrett Hartley made the extra point to give the Saints a 7-0 lead.
Then, following a three-and-out by both teams, QB Carson Palmer fired a pass intended for TE Brandon Myers but the ball was intercepted by S Malcolm Jenkins. Jenkins returned the ball 55 yards the other way for a Saints touchdown and Hartley added the extra point to give the New Orleans a 14-0 first quarter advantage.
The Raiders led a 17-play drive that spanned from the first quarter into the second period over 8:58 but the Saints defense made a big stop in the red zone. Palmer threw incomplete to TE Brandon Myers but the ball was tipped off the hands of Myers and fell into the reach of S Roman Harper who made the interception in the endzone.
Following a Saints three-and-out, the Raiders were able to move down the field for an 81-yard scoring drive. Palmer completed a pass to FB Marcel Reece who was able to break a tackle and pick up 56 yards down the left sideline. Then, following a pass interference call against the Saints, Palmer completed a one-yard touchdown pass to Myers on a play action roll-out. K Sebastian Janikowski made the extra point to bring the score to 14-7 with 4:10 remaining in the first half.
Brees was left with one more opportunity before the end of the first half. He completed first down throws of 24-yards and 16-yards to WR Marques Colston before finding WR Lance Moore deep down the middle of the field for a 38-yard touchdown. Hartley added the PAT to increase the Saints lead to 21-7 with less than one minute remaining in the first half.
DE Will Smith then sacked Palmer on the Raiders last possession to bring the first half to a close.
RB Travaris Cadet returned the opening kickoff of the second half 75 yards to the Oakland 27-yard line. Then, on New Orleans’ first offensive play, Ingram rushed to left and got to the edge on his way to a 27-yard touchdown run. Hartley made the extra point to give the Saints a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter.
Later in the third quarter, the Raiders had moved into New Orleans territory. Palmer completed a pass to WR Rod Streater and CB Jabari Greer forced a fumble that was recovered by Harper. The play was overturned to an incomplete pass but the Saints held the Raiders to a field goal as they forced three consecutive incompletions. Janikowski added a 40-yard kick that hit the upright and went through to give the Raiders three points in the third quarter.
Following a Raiders three-and-out, the Saints offense returned to the field with the ball near midfield. After two carries by Ingram, RB Chris Ivory was able to break through the line and pick up 25 yards on the ground that set up a 15-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Moore. Hartley added the extra point to give the Saints a 35-10 lead in the third quarter.
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