Carson, Calif. – After enduring a sloppy first half that included an interception near the goal line and surrendering an 81-yard punt return touchdown, the New Orleans Saints rallied in the second half to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 19-17 on Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The Saints (1-1) won on kicker Wil Lutz’s 28-yard field goal with 1:05 to play. The defense iced the game with linebacker Colton Jumper’s interception of Chargers quarterback Easton Stick with 32 seconds remaining.
Quarterback Taysom Hill led the comeback in the second preseason game, connecting on touchdown passes to Austin Carr (27 yards) and Devine Ozigbo (1 yard), while also keeping several drives alive with his legs. He finished 11 of 15 for 136 yards and ran five times for 53 yards, best on the team.
The Saints trailed 17-3 at halftime thanks to several poor plays, must notably an 81-yard punt return by Troymaine Pope with three seconds left in the half.
Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who got the start over a resting Drew Brees, was picked off at the 2-yard line when the ball went through the hands of running back Dwayne Washington. Los Angeles (0-2) converted a couple of key first downs, including one on a questionable penalty against cornerback Ken Crawley, on its way to a 24-yard touchdown pass from reserve quarterback Cardale Jones to Andre Patton with 5:32 left in the half.
The Saints had excellent field position for most of the first half but managed just a 33-yard yard Lutz field goal. Those points were set up by an interception from Saints linebacker A.J. Klein.
Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson was a force in the first half, forcing three holding penalties on the Chargers.
Bridgewater had a tough half, missing a couple of open receivers and nearly having two other passes intercepted.
In addition to Brees, star defensive end Cameron Jordan, star receiver Michael Thomas and left tackle Terron Armstead did not play. Running back Alvin Kamara carried four times for 15 yards. The Chargers didn’t play star quarterback Philip Rivers and several other starters.
Players from both teams struggled to stay on their feet as the field to be beat up from the MLS it hosted Saturday night.
Following a week of practice in New Orleans the Saints will travel to New York on Friday ahead of their game Saturday against the Jets in MetLife Stadium.
For full game stats, click here.