Austin Jackson (35)


The New Orleans Saints captured their third-consecutive win of the 2014 NFL preseason on Saturday night, defeating the Indianapolis Colts, 23-17, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

With the win, the Saints are 3-0 in the preseason for the first time since 2000.

New Orleans drew first blood, when quarterback Drew Brees, seeing his first action of the preseason, hit Austin Jackson with a short 3-yard touchdown pass, capping off a 13-play, 80-yard drive, giving them a 7-0 lead at the 9:33 mark of the first quarter.

Indianapolis tied the game at the 3:19 mark of the first quarter, when quarterback Andrew Luck connected with Coby Flenner with a 21-yard scoring strike, culminating a 4-play, 59-yard drive, to make the score 7-7.

The Saints grabbed the lead back with only :32 remaining in the opening frame, when Drees threw his second touchdown pass of the quarter, this one to Marques Colston, from 13 yards away, to complete a 7-play, 80-yard drive, and give them a 14-7 advantage.

New Orleans extended their lead to ten points at the 12:17 mark of the second quarter, courtesy of a 39-yard field goal by Shayne Graham, wrapping-up a 9-play, 21-yard drive, and make the score 17-7.

Graham hit his second field goal of the half at the 3:00 mark, this one from 24 yards out, capping off a 15-play, 83-yard drive, to extend the New Orleans lead to 20-7.

The Colts scored with only :13 remaining in the half, when Adam Vinatieri kicked through a short 20-yard field goal, completing a 12-play, 78-yard drive, to cut the New Orleans lead to 20-10 as the team went into the locker room at halftime.

The Saints outgained the Colts, in terms of total yards in the first half, 288-132, including a 164-94 advantage through the air, as well as a 124-38 edge on the ground, while holding the football for 20:35 in the half.

Brees ended the first half, and the game, completing 9-of-15 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns, while Mark Ingram had 46 first half yards on eight carries.

For the Colts in the opening half, Luck went 9-of-17 for 101 yards, along with one touchdown and one interception through the air, while Trent Richardson had four carries for 14 yards on the ground.

After a scoreless third quarter, Indianapolis scored the first points of the second half at the 13:39 mark of the fourth quarter, when Chandler Harnish hooked up with Josh Lenz on a 22-yard scoring strike, capping off a 2-play, 65-yard drive, to cut the New Orleans lead to 20-17.

The Saints added three points at the 1:54 mark of the final quarter, when Derek Dimke made good on a long 45-yard field goal, culminating a 7-play, 5-yard drive, making the  score, 23-17, New Orleans.

The Colts had one final possession, but were denied by the New Orleans defense, and the Saints held on for the 6-point victory.

New Orleans outgained Indianapolis, in terms of total yards, 356-348, including a 196-186 advantage in the passing department, while the Colts finished with a slim 162-161 edge on the ground.

For the Saints, Brees, who played into the second quarter, finished the game completing 9-of-15 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns, while Ingram finished with 46 rushing yards on eight carries.

In a losing cause for the Colts, Luck finished the game completing 10-of-18 passes for 103 yards, along with one touchdown and one interception, while Daniel Herron accumulated 68 rushing yards on eight attempts.

View the game box score.

With the win, New Orleans improved to 3-0 in the preseason, while Indianapolis fell to 0-3.

The Saints conclude their 2014 preseason schedule on Thursday, August 28, when they play host to the Baltimore Ravens.