Parker's 2 TDs Help Saints Top Chiefs, 17-13

By: AP, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
By: AP, posted by Kinch O'Kelley

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Kansas City coach Andy Reid and his new starting quarterback Alex Smith combined to give the Chiefs at least one promising series to start the preseason.

Preston Parker had a pair of touchdown catches in his bid to fill one of New Orleans' open receiver spots, and the Saints defeated the Chiefs 17-13 in the preseason opener for both teams Friday.

Reid saw all he needed of Smith in the opening drive, which went 80 yards on 14 plays, capped by Jamaal Charles' TD run. Smith was 7 of 8 for 68 yards before calling it a night.

With Saints coach Sean Payton on the sideline for the first time since his bounty ban ended, Drew Brees was 7 of 10 for 65 yards in two series, which produced one field goal.

His longest completion went for 22 yards to rookie Kenny Stills, who like Parker is a candidate to replace injured deep threat Joe Morgan as the Saints' No. 3 receiver behind Marques Colston and Lance Moore.

Parker is another such receiver, and the three-year veteran stood out for at least one exhibition. His first TD, an off-balance catch in the back of the end zone, tied the game at 10 in the third quarter.

His second on a quick sideline throw at the goal line made it 17-10 in the final minute of the quarter. He finished with four catches for 43 yards, including a leaping 33-yard catch along the sideline.

Parker is trying to re-establish himself in the NFL after playing in only two games last season with Tampa Bay before being cut in September. Two seasons ago, he played in all 16 games for the Buccaneers and had 40 catches for 544 yards and three TDs.

The Chiefs' return game made the Saints' kickoff and punt coverage look suspect. The Chiefs' had two field goals were set up by big returns - Dexter McCluster's 55-yard punt return and Knile Davis' 77-yard kickoff return. Kansas City's Devon Wylie added a 22-yard punt return.

Former Saints backup QB Chase Daniel took over for Smith on Kansas City's second drive, which began at the New Orleans 32 after McCluster's long return was augmented by a holding call against New Orleans.

Unable to get a first down, the Chiefs widened their lead to 10-0 on Ryan Succop's 42-yard field goal.

Brees' first drive stalled quickly. His final drive covered 74 yards in 10 plays, setting up Garrett Hartley's 24-yard field goal.

The game also marked the debut of Rob Ryan as Saints defensive coordinator. While his new 3-4 defense struggled in its opening series, it allowed Kansas City only 135 yards the rest of the game.

New Orleans' defense also produced four sacks, one each by Baraka Atkins, third-round draft choice John Jenkins, undrafted rookie Glenn Foster and cornerback Jabari Greer.

The Chiefs struggled to sustain drives with Daniel under center, and third-stringer Tyler Bray did not fare much better when he entered the game in the third quarter.

On his first drive, he was stripped by Foster and Jay Richardson recovered for New Orleans at midfield.

Kansas City got the ball right back, however, when Tysyn Hartman intercepted Luke McCown.

McCown, who is competing with Seneca Wallace to back up Brees, was 18 of 28 for 216 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Wallace did not play because of a recent groin injury.

Daniel was 6 of 10 for 42 yards and was sacked twice.


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