START OF THE SECOND QUARTER:
1st & 10: Saints run a screen play to a runningback. Brandon Spikes shed a block from Jahri Evans to make the tackle. Evans is that guy that is the reason why Logan Mankins isn’t playing tonight – in case you hadn’t heard.
2nd & 7: Saints run Reggie Bush up the middle, and when the dust clears Spikes is at the bottom of the pile and appeared to make the tackle on that play.
3rd & 6: Good throw by Brees but it’s dropped, Devin McCourty was chasing him, and apparently scared him.
4th & 6: Saints go for it, why shouldn’t they? They’re at the Patriots 39 so it’s not the worst thing in the world if they don’t make it. Plus it’s an exhbition game – I’d have done that too. Well it worked out, Butler got called for “illegal contact”. On the replay Butler mugged him past five yards. Not a good play.
1st & 10: Saints run it again. Apparently they’re trying to prove they can sustain a drive also – and succeeding.
2nd & 5: Brees throws to Bush again and it was out of his reach, Mayo would have been there to bring him down. He looks quicker than ever.
3rd & 5: False start on the center. The one guy who shouldn’t get called for a false start gets called.
3rd & 10: Reggie Bush takes off up the middle and completely faked Mayo out of his shoes, with Meriweather and Wilfork in on the tackle. Saiuts end up with a first down.
1st & 10: Gerard Warren is right up on Brees and causes a quick sidearm throw that goes low and incomplete. It might be just an exhbition game, but it’s nice to see the fact they’re getting pressure.
(Just noticed the game clock is back at the top of the screen, shows 12:11. Apparently the technical issues have been corrected)
2nd & 10: Quick throw from Bress that goes complete for a short gain, but Spikes is there and wraps him up immediately in the open field. So far he looks like a veteran.
3rd & 7 at New England’s 22: Brees hits former Patriot David Thomas, with Mayo and Spikes who were right there – but Brees threw it perfectly. Frist down.
1st & 10: Saints run it to the right side, and the Patriots defensive line gets pushed back. We saw Warren get pushed back, while Murrell held his guy but didn’t break through to make the tackle.
2nd & 5 at the 9-yard line.: Brees checks down to the runningback, but Murrell and McCourty are there to stop him but not before he gets a first down.
1st & 10: Saints try and run it, but Wilfork is there to stop him and they stack him up. These long drives are brutal to document, and this is the second one so far tonight.
2nd & Goal from the 2: Bush goes outside and stiffarms Butler for the touchdown run. Belichick’s a fan of situational football, and his defense got a chance to work on their redzone defense. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out well.
Extra point is good – and the Patriots now lead 10-7 w/9:32 left in the quarter.
I can’t see who returned the kick – they’re talking to the two guys touring the country and trying to get people to use some new product from Gillette, and the game is in the smaller window.
1st & 10: Brian Hoyer in the game in place of Brady, Green-Ellis getting the carry. Laurence Maroney remains MIA up to this point. Ohrnberger and Wendell also in the game with the second unit, along with Eric Ghiaciuc.
2nd & 7: Hoyer hits Aiken on a short pass. George Bussey makes a block on the left side rolling on the ground.
3rd & 5: Hoyer with a good pass to Edelman on a crossing pattern, picking up about 14 for a first down. Aiken made a good block, which allowed him to pick up a few extra yards.
1st & 10: Good playaction pass to Green-Ellis, picks up about 8 yards on the play. Footage shown of Brady getting his right elbow wrapped.
2nd & 2: Quick pass from Hoyer to Aaron Hernandez, made a good move and managed to pick up about 5-yards on the play for the first down.
1st & 10: Incomplete pass from Hoyer to Sammy Morris on a botched runningback screen. Not a great throw from Hoyer.
2nd & 10: Hoyer hits Edelman on a crossing pattern for a gain of around 25-yards. Good job by Tate for picking up a block at the end.
1st & 10: Run to the right by Green-Ellis, Gronkowski helped make a block to help him get through. The rookie’s had a good night so far. Saints get called ofr a facemask.
1st & Goal: Green-Ellis running to the right side again, with Ohrnberger flattening his guy and Ellis bouncing off one hit while picking up about four yards. Aiken once again had another good block as well.
2nd & Goal: Maroney in the game for the first time, and takes it in for the touchdown. Cut right and hit the hole hard and into the endzone. Didn’t look indecisive at all – although the timing of him coming into the game didn’t make much sense considering Green-Ellis had all the carries in that drive.
Patriots Lead 17-7 with 5:08 left in the half.
Patriots kickoff, with the ball landing just inside the endzone and returned out to the 26 yard line.
1st & 10: Saints have their second stringers in there now, and roll out right for a pass with Jonathan Wilhite making the play. Right behind him was Dane Fletcher.
2nd & 2: Saints run up the middle for a first down. The defensive line gets pushed back on this play, with Rob Ninkovich appearing tp make the tackle.
1st & 10: Saints go up the middle again, and pick up a big gain, with Myron Pryor getting completely taken out of the play, and Brandon McGowan having to make the tackle. He seems a bit too excited about making a tackle after giving up a 9-yard gain.
2nd & 1: Another run, but Spikes is in right away to make the tackle. Fletcher was also in on the play, but New Orleans picks up a first down.
1st & 10: Criqui calls out Drew Brees’ name instead of Patrick Ramsay, who is in to replace him. Ramsay attempts a pass, but both Pierre Woods and Brandon Deadrick came in from each side to put pressure on him and the pass goes incomplete.
2nd & 10: Another run, and you can see Pryor get pushed right out of the way again. The second time I’ve seen him, and it hasn’t been for a great reason.
3rd & 5: Jonathan Wilhite comes up and makes quite a hit to break up a pass, which causes the incompletion.
4th & 5: Saints punt, but no return. Edelman is forced to let it go and it bounces into the endzone.
1st & 10: Hoyer sees a ton of pressure from the right side, but gets it off to Julian Edelman who picks up around 20-yards. Pressure came right through the right guard spot, although I can’t see who missed the block – whether it was Ohrnberger at right guard or the right tackle Mark Lavoir. Great heads up play by Hoyer to keep his cool and make an accurate throw.
1st & 10: Hoyer throws a bit behind tight end Aaron Hernandez for an incompletion. Just noticed on the left side is Wendell at left guard, while Ghiaciuc is at left tackle. Looks like guys are being rotated at this point.
2nd & 10: Another pass attempt to Hernandez that goes incomplete, but it’s not all Hoyer’s fault. He just got killed after LeVoir let his guy blow by him to drill Hoyer and force the incompletion.
3rd & 10: Hoyer finally gets Hernandez the ball, but the rookie gets hit immediately and then gets completely drilled. He only picked up about 2 on the play.
4th & 8: Patriots are forced to punt. Mesko drops this one around the 15 and forces a fair catch. A terrific punt, and with 1:35 left in the half the Saints don’t have great field position.
1st & 10: Ramsay sees pressure up the middle from Woods, and then takes off before dumping the ball off to a receiver who is hit by Terrance Wheatley. Ramsay looked to me like he was past the line of scrimmage, but no penalty.
1st & 10: Saints run a draw play and pick up about five yards. Taking another look at this play, it looked like Pryor couldn’t shed his block on this play which caused New Orleans to be able to gain a couple of more yards.
2nd & 5: Quick pass complete by New Orleans, but just short of the 1st down. Sergio Brown and Dane Fletcher in on the play.
3rd & 1: Incomplete pass by New Orleans. James Sanders right with him on the play.
4th & 1: Saints punt
Patriots kneel on the ball with :28 left in the half and let the clock tick down heading into halftime.