Patriots edge Saints in preseason

Published 12:08 pm Sunday, August 12, 2012

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Will Smith crunched Tom Brady from behind, forcing a fumble in the first quarter. It may be the Saints defensive end’s biggest play for a while.

One of four players punished in New Orleans bounty scandal, Smith was suspended for the first four regular-season games. So Thursday night’s sack of New England’s star quarterback was a highlight in the New England Patriots’ lackluster 7-6 win in their preseason opener.

John Kasay had a chance to give the Saints the lead, but his 41-yard field goal attempt went wide to the right with 3:07 left.

The game followed two days of joint practices between the teams and was the first for the Patriots since their 21-17 loss in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.

Brady and Saints quarter Drew Brees left after only two series and Thomas Morestead averaged over 44 yards on six punts for New Orleans, who host Jacksonville on Friday.