NEW ORLEANS – Drew Brees and Wil Lutz supplied the accuracy and poise New Orleans needed to overcome another officiating gaffe and its defense’s late collapse.
Lutz made a 58-yard field goal as time expired, and the Saints beat the Houston Texans 30-28 on Monday night in a game that had three scoring plays in the final minute.
“That one’s got to be a top-one moment for me,” Lutz said, adding that as much as he tries to treat each kick the same, “I got to be honest. That one felt a little different.”
New Orleans had lost its previous five season openers. And after last season ended with a bitter loss in the NFC title game, the Saints had expressed urgency to start the 2019 campaign well.
Deshaun Watson threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to ex-Saints receiver Kenny Stills with 37 seconds left, capping a two-play, 75-yard drive that put the Texans in front.
But that left just enough time for Brees, who capped a 370-yard, two-touchdown performance by completing a 15-yard pass to Ted Ginn Jr., an 11-yarder to Michael Thomas and another pass to Ginn for 9 yards in quick succession. That allowed New Orleans to save its final timeout until just 2 seconds remained and set up Lutz’s career-long kick.
Raiders 24, Broncos 16
In Oakland, Derek Carr threw a touchdown pass on the opening drive of the season, rookie Josh Jacobs ran for two scores and the Raiders responded to a tumultuous week surrounding former receiver Antonio Brown by beating Denver.