NEW ORLEANS (AP) — When Derek Carr finished putting on his uniform before his preseason debut with the New Orleans Saints, he couldn’t help but be struck by the sight of himself in black and gold — instead of the Raiders’ silver and black he’d worn for all of his previous nine NFL seasons.
“It may look weird, but it felt right,” said Carr, the Saints’ top free agent acquisition. “I just feel refreshed. I feel rejuvenated. And to put that uniform on and come out and be a Saint, it felt really good.”
Carr threw a touchdown pass on his opening series and rookie Blake Grupe kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Saints to a 26-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in the opening exhibition game for both clubs.
After digging themselves into a 17-0 hole in the first half, Andy Reid’s bunch came storming back to eventually take the lead near the end of the third quarter. A late touchdown by New Orleans brought the game to within one point and made things interesting, but a failed two-point conversion due to a penalty preserved the Chiefs’ advantage… temporarily.
Buechele, who took over on offense following an interception by cornerback Kahlef Hailassie, successfully avoided multiple pass-rushers to find wide receiver Justyn Ross for a 15-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. Buechele then had the Chiefs back in the end zone just one drive later, putting Kansas City ahead with an 8-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Kekoa Crawford.
The Chiefs added a field goal midway through the fourth quarter to extend their advantage to seven points, but the Saints didn’t go away. New Orleans pulled within a single point with a touchdown drive in the game’s final minutes, and on the Chiefs’ ensuing possession, defensive end Kyle Phillips picked off quarterback Chris Oladokun deep in Kansas City’s own territory.
The Chiefs scored on a 1-yard pass from backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert to receiver Richie James with 8:26 to play in the second quarter. Most of the Saints starters on defense left the game after the second drive.
New Orleans safety Ugo Amadi picked off reserve quarterback Shane Buechele late in the second quarter.
NOT DRESSED: These players didn’t dress for the game: Linebacker Demario Davis (calf); wide receiver Rashid Shaheed (groin), wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith (groin); running back Kirk Merritt (hamstring); left guard Andrus Peat (quad), offensive lineman Landon Young (knee); tight end Lucas Krull (tailbone) and tight end Jesse James (groin).
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