Defense (not a typo!) carries Saints to comeback victory


Two Chargers fumbles in the last seven minutes set up two Saints touchdowns, and the Saints rallied from 13 down to win their first game of the season Sunday, 35-34.

Saints fullback John Kuhn scored three touchdowns, the third on a 1-yard run with 1:57 left, to complete the comeback. The Chargers got one more possession but it ended in an interception by B.W. Webb.

Kuhn scored three touchdowns on five touches.

The Chargers had the ball and a 34-21 lead with 6:50 left when Melvin Gordon lost a fumble. The Saints scored four plays later, then Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin lost a fumble on first down. Seven plays after that, Kuhn went in and the Saints took the lead on Wil Lutz’s PAT kick.

We absolutely gave this one away,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said.

Gordon scored two rushing touchdowns and now leads the NFL with six on the season. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was on fire early in the game, and even into the final minutes it looked like the Chargers were going to win easily.

Rivers threw for 321 yards, and Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman had a career game with seven catches for 120 yards. But the Saints kept coming up with the ball, and even though Drew Brees was held to 206 yards passing in his first game in San Diego over a decade, he guided the Saints on two touchdown drives in the final five minutes to win.

Both teams are now 1-3. The Saints are off next week. The Chargers are at the Raiders.