Saints find their London calling
New Orleans Saints beat San Diego Chargers 37-32 at London's Wembley stadium.
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2008 22:03 GMT

Shooting the breeze: Drew Brees makes a pass [GALLO/GETTY]
The New Orleans Saints beat the San Diego Chargers 37-32 as Drew Brees tossed three touchdowns to lead his team to a win in a high-scoring affair at London's Wembley stadium.

New Orleans led for most of the game though the Chargers used two fourth quarter scores to keep it close until the end.

The Saints intercepted San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers with around a minute left to stop a late Chargers drive.

Trading goals

The teams traded field goals to start the game on Sunday before Brees, who was 30 of 41 for 339 yards, shook off a tackler and heaved the ball to wide receiver Devery Henderson standing alone in the end zone where he made an easy catch for a touchdown.

The game, played before an enthusiastic near sell-out crowd of 83,226 fans, featured plenty of scoring to keep the fans, many wearing NFL jerseys of their favourite teams, interested on a chilly but dry London night.

Randall Gay of Saints fights for the ball with LaDainian Tomlinson [GALLO/GETTY]
The Saints controlled most of the game but had to hold off the Chargers in the fourth quarter after San Diego recovered an onsides kick and drove down for a touchdown to cut the lead to seven with under ten minutes to go.

San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson ran 19 times for 105 yards to lead the Chargers but 14 penalties for 134 yards hurt his team and helped stall a number of drives.

Hail Mary

Chargers quarterback Rivers connected 25 times on 40 pass attempts for 341 yards, three touchdowns and one interception but his Hail Mary pass as time expired fell short.

Last year's sold-out game at Wembley featured the eventual Super Bowl winning New York Giants versus the Miami Dolphins, two of the most popular teams in Britain.

But this time around the regular season game featured two smaller market teams, a pairing league officials say will help them better gauge the sport's popularity in Britain.

The Wembley match-up marked the second year in a row the National Football League has played a regular season game in London as part of its push to attract more fans outside the United States.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.