Drew Brees threw for 351 yards and a touchdown, Darren Sproles added 188 all-purpose yards and the Saints beat the Jaguars 23-10 in a game that was more lopsided than the score indicated.
Tight end Jimmy Graham led the way as Brees’ top target, catching ten passes for 132 yards and a touchdown.
The Saints (3-1) scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and looked well on their way to scoring 30 points for the fourth consecutive week. But Brees threw two interceptions, John Kasay missed two long field goals and the Saints managed just nine points in the second half.
“If you had told us before the game that you’re going to have 500 yards of total offense and you’re going to convert 50 percent of our third downs, we would have thought that’s 40 points,” Brees said. “Unfortunately, it was 23 points because we got inside the 20 three times in the second half and didn’t come away with touchdowns.
“So that’s disappointing, but feel we have proven that we can move the ball. Now we just got to score touchdowns.”
It didn’t matter against the Jaguars (1-3), who have struggled to score all season. Jacksonville has 39 points in four games, clearly dealing with the growing pains associated with having a rookie quarterback.
Blaine Gabbert struggled in his first home start, no surprise since the Saints have given rookie quarterbacks all sorts of problems in three years under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Gabbert was erratic all afternoon, throwing high and missing wide-open receivers. He completed 16 of 42 passes for 196 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He also was sacked three times.