The Los Angeles Chargers were held scoreless after starting quarterback Philip Rivers left the game after two possessions in a 36-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints Saturday evening.
Undrafted rookie running back Detrez Newsome ran 5 yards for a touchdown on the Chargers second possession, completing an eight-play, 42-yard drive that followed Travis Benjamin’s 19-yard punt return.
Rivers completed five of seven passes for 29 yards. He was replaced by Cardale Jones on the Chargers first possession of the second quarter. Jones completed one of three passes for 13 yards in his two drives.
Geno Smith entered the game at the start of the third quarter, completing seven of 11 passes for 45 yards and had a pass intercepted by Marcus Williams early in the fourth quarter that he returned 58 yards for a touchdown.
Nic Shimonek completed one of two passes for seven yards on the Chargers final possession in the NFL preseason game at StubHub Center.
New Orleans’ third quarterback, Taysom Hill, completed seven of eight passes for 66 yards, including a 5-yard pass to Tre’Quan Smith with 5:26 left to play for the game’s final points.
Hill also ran 11 yards for a touchdown with two minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the third quarter, which he followed by a run for a two-point conversion that increased the Saints lead to 22-7.
Drew Brees completed seven of nine passes for 59 yards on New Orleans first three possessions. The first ended when Derwin James intercepted a pass. The Saints were forced to punt on the second.
Alvin Kamara ran 2 yards for a touchdown on the third, an 11-play, 75-yard drive.
Tom Savage replaced Brees, completing seven of 10 passes for 99 yards in three possessions in the second and third quarter, when New Orleans (2-1) got a 25-yard field goal from Wil Lutz 1:46 before halftime and a 35-yarder from Lutz as time expired in the first half.
The Chargers (1-2) were outgained, 334 yards to 166, trailed 20-15 in first downs and 33:08-26:52 in time of possession.
The Chargers converted four of 11 third-down possessions, 36 percent, the Saints six of 13, 46 percent. The Chargers were unsuccessful on both their fourth-down plays. New Orleans were successful on both of them.
The game was a matchup of the quarterbacks who have started all but one regular-season and postseason game for the Chargers since 2004, Brees and Rivers.
Brees was chosen by the Chargers in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft and became the starter in 2002, lost the job to Doug Flutie midway through the 2003 season, regained it five games later, started all but one regular-season game in 2004 and all 16 in 2005.
The Chargers acquired Rivers in a draft day trade with the New York Giants in 2004 and after Brees signed with New Orleans as a free agent in 2006 became the starter that season and has started every regular-season and post- season and postseason since then.
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