Saints' second half propels them to shutout win vs. Dolphins
LONDON - It took Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints six days and a first half before they finally found their footing in soggy Britain.
Brees threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns and the Saints scored all but three of their points in the second half as they defeated the Miami Dolphins 20-0 on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Wembley Stadium.
Michael Thomas had a touchdown reception in the third quarter, Alvin Kamara added one in the fourth and Will Lutz made two of his three field-goal attempts for New Orleans (2-2), which arrived for the game on Monday and won the lowest-scoring game ever held in London.
It was expected to be a big homecoming for the Dolphins' Jay Ajayi, who was born in the city, but the running back finished with 46 yards on 12 carries.
Lutz missed his first try, a 41-yarder, wide right on the second play of the second quarter, and the teams threatened to have the first scoreless opening half since Week 14 of the 2011 season until Lutz connected from 43 yards with no time remaining.
Brees found Thomas, who had eight catches for 89 yards, on a 4-yarder to push the score to 10-0 in the third quarter, and Kamara took a shovel pass from Brees 12 yards into the end zone with 3:57 remaining to wrap up the victory.
Kamara finished with 96 total yards, including 71 receiving, and fellow running back Mark Ingram ran for 45 yards.
Jay Cutler completed 20 of 28 passes for Miami (1-2), which finished with 185 yards, its fewest since its last shutout, a 19-0 loss at Buffalo on Dec. 22, 2013.
New Orleans' last shut out an opponent on Dec. 16, 2012, a 41-0 win against Tampa Bay.
STREIF'S STRIFE: Saints right tackle Zach Streif, active despite missing time in practice during the week with a knee injury, left the game after sustaining a knee injury on the first play of the fourth quarter when a Dolphins defender fell on his legs. He did not return.
Also leaving the game injured were Saints TE Josh Hill (concussion) and LB Alex Anzalone (shoulder), and Dolphins LB Mike Hull (shoulder), none of whom returned.
The Dolphins were also without cornerback Byron Maxwell, who injured a hamstring in the team's walk-through on Saturday and was replaced by rookie Cordrea Tankersley, a third-round pick out of Clemson who was inactive for the Dolphins' first two games.
Saints: A Week 5 bye means they'll next be in action at home against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 15.
Dolphins: The home debut, at last, against the Tennessee Titans - Miami's latest opener since 1987.