FOXBORO — The Pats were thoroughly outclassed in a 28-13 loss to New Orleans Sunday, trailing for the last three and a half quarters while quarterback Mac Jones finally played like a rookie. Jones finished 30-of-51 for 270 yards a touchdown and three interceptions, while Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, a notorious turnover machine, played an efficient, safe game with zero picks. Around Winston’s two touchdown passes, New Orleans added 142 rushing yards, the last four on a game-sealing touchdown by all-purpose weapon Taysom Hill with 2:37 left.
After an opening trade of three-and-outs, Winston orchestrated a patient, 11-play touchdown drive midway through the first quarter. He converted twice on third-and-7, unbothered by the Pats’ diminished pass rush that missed Josh Uche. Winston’s last conversion was a 7-yard strike over the middle to Alvin Kamara, who darted inside Kyle Van Noy for an easy score.
Trailing 7-0, the Pats gifted a scoring chance to Saints safety P.J. Williams, who intercepted Jones over the middle after the rookie was hit in the pocket on third-and-long. Williams returned the pick to the Patriots’ 9-yard line, where the Saints ran for five yards then took a second-down sack. On third-and-goal, with Pats safety Kyle Dugger wrapped around his waist and spinning him to the ground, Winston looked primed for another takedown until he blindly fired toward the back of the end zone. There, Saints wideout Marquez Callaway out-muscled Jonathan Jones for a jump ball, tapped both feet inside the back line and celebrated a two-touchdown lead.
Jones threw a pick-six on the Pats’ opening snap of the second half. Jonnu Smith bobbled the pass straight to Saints captain Malcolm Jenkins, who strolled 34 yards into the end zone.
“Give the Saints credit today, they were certainly the better team,” Belichick said. “They just did a better job than we did in every area and deserved to win. We’ve just got to play more consistently.”
— Boston Herald