The Saints learned at the very least one important item in Thursday night's preseason opener at New England.

The kick coverage has to get better.

The Saints allowed 194 yards in kicks returns in a 27-24 loss to the Patriots in Foxboro.

Julian Edelman set the tone for the Patriots in the first quarter with a 40 yard punt return to set up a 35 yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. On the play, Saints punter Thomas Morstead injured his left shoulder making the tackle. Head coach Sean Payton said x rays on Morstead's shoulder were negative.

The Patriots led 10-0 before Reggie Bush scored on a 2 yard run to cap a 20 play, 86 yard drive in the second quarter. The Saints trailed 17-7 at the half.

To start the second half, New England's Devin McCourty returned a kickoff 52 yards to set up a one yard touchdown run by Lawrence Maroney.

Saints free agent Larry Beavers then returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown as the Saints scored 17 straight points to tie the game.

Gostkowski then booted a 28 yard field goal with :57 remaining to give the Patriots the win.