JACKSONVILLE, FLA. (AP)
The New Orleans Saints didn't need to score 30 points to beat the offensively inept Jacksonville Jaguars.
Drew Brees threw for 351 yards and a touchdown, Darren Sproles added 188 all-purpose yards and the Saints beat the Jaguars 23-10 Sunday.
The Saints (3-1) scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and looked well on their way to scoring 30 points for the fourth consecutive week. But Brees threw two interceptions, and the Saints were forced to settle for three field goals in the second half.
It didn't matter against the Jaguars (1-3), who have scored 39 points this season. They have scored two touchdowns in rookie Blaine Gabbert's two starts.
Gabbert struggled in first home start, no surprise since the Saints have given rookie quarterbacks all sorts of problems in three years under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Gabbert was erratic all afternoon, throwing high and missing wide-open receivers. He completed 16 of 42 passes for 196 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He also was sacked three times.
He didn't get much help, either. The Jaguars dropped several passes, including one by Maurice Jones-Drew on the opening possession and one by Mike Thomas on the final drive.
Jacksonville vowed to open up the offense after last week's 16-10 loss in Carolina. But it did little good with Gabbert's inaccuracy and his teammates' not-so-soft hands.
New Orleans had far fewer problems.
Brees completed 31 of 44 passes. Sproles had 75 yards rushing, 56 yards receiving and 57 yards in returns. Jimmy Graham caught 10 passes for 132 yards and a score. His last catch was a 59-yarder that put the Saints in position to score 30 points, and they certainly tried to get it after Brees got upset about what he felt was a late hit.
Just after Brees tripped and was sacked by Clint Session, 340-pound defensive tackle Terrance Knighton plopped on top of him. Brees got up in a huff, and players from both teams started pushing and shoving. On the ensuing play, Brees threw deep but Devery Henderson stepped out of bounds before making the catch at the goal line.
The Saints took control of the game early, with a 62-yard drive on their first possession and 96-yarder on the next. Jed Collins scored from a yard out, then Brees hooked up with Graham for a 1-yarder that made it 14-0.
Gabbert's best pass of the day - a 14-yard strike to Zach Miller - cut the lead in half. Linebacker Daryl Smith could have tied it just before halftime. He intercepted Brees pass near the sideline and only had one person to beat to score. But Brees made a touchdown-saving tackle, and the Jaguars settled for a field goal.