NEW ORLEANS - Cleveland dipped into the trick bag - several times - and took advantage of Saints penalties and interceptions to slam the defending champions 30-17 in the Superdome Sunday, sending the home team to its second home loss of the season.
The trickery began with a cross field lateral on the first punt play and continued with a fake punt that went for a 69-yard gain when the Saints were totally out of position.
Drew Brees, having probably his worst performance during his time in New Orleans, threw four interceptions, two of them to David Bowens, one returned 30 yards for a score and another taken back 64 yards.
"It starts with me, our coaching staff, our preparation," lamented head coach Sean Payton after the game. "We did all the things you can't do to win a game, regardless of who you're playing. If we continue to do that, we'll bubble around and win some and lose some."
The Saints also had a touchdown called back when an offensive lineman put his hand to the face of an opposing rusher and another holding penalty later in the game on Carl Nicks, led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Nicks and a 30-yard loss.
The loss to the Browns came one week after it appeared the Saints had righted the ship with an impressive win at Tampa.
Scott Fujita had a triumphant return to the Superdome, sacking Brees on the game's second possession and finishing with 10 tackles.