On Sunday afternoon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the New Orleans Saints were playing the Cincinnati Bengals with the goal of remaining atop the NFC South. Alas, New Orleans' players didn't get the memo about how important this game was. The team showed no sense of urgency, had no will to win and looked lifeless all game. The Bengals walked out of the Superdome with a well-earned 27-10 win.
If you can stomach it, here's how the game unfolded:
- Saints win the toss and elect to receive the ball.
- Brees converts a big 3rd and 8 to Jimmy Graham to the Bengals' 20-yard line.
- This was the 26th offensive drive of 10+ plays this season for New Orleans
- Saints stall and Shayne Graham nails a 31-yard field goal for a 3-0 Saints lead.
- On the Bengals first drive, Dalton runs for 10 yards on the first play.
- Bengals running game gashes the Saints with rookie Jeremy Hill.
- Jermaine Gresham fumbles the ball, kicks it in the endzone and recovers it for a touchdown.
- Play is reviewed and upheld as a touchdown: Bengals lead 7-3
- Saints start their second drive at their 20-yard line and convert a 3rd and 4 from Brees to Brandin cooks.
- Cooks then gets another first down pass for 10+ yards near midfield.
- Saints right tackle Zach Strief is injured and heads to the locker room as the quarter draws to a close.
- The Saints convert their fifth third down in six tries as the quarter starts, at the Bengals 43-yard line.
- Colston makes a beautiful catch, tiptoeing on the sidelines for a Saints 1st down at Cincy's 10-yard line.
- Saints get 1st and goal inside the 3-yard line but Cincy stops them four consecutive times and keeps the lead.
- The Bengals quickly get out of the shadow of their goal line into Saints territory.
- Cincinnati finding all sorts of success on third down, 5 for 5 at this juncture.
- Saints finally stop the Bengals on 3rd down, Cincy kicks a 22-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead.
- Once again, New Orleans starts its 3rd possession from its own 20-yard line.
- After reaching their own 38-yard line, the Saints stall and punt with 57 seconds left.
- Saints allow a 62 yards run to Jeremy Hill and with one second left, the Bengals tack on another field goal.
- At halftime, Cincinnati takes a 13-3- lead.
- Bengals start the second half at their 35-yard line and quickly get into Saints territory.
- New Orleans stops the Bengals on 3rd and 11 near midfield and get the ball back.
- A great punt pins New Orleans at its own 5-yard line to start their 3rd quarter.
- New Orleans converts a big 3rd and 8 from their 5-yard line to Jimmy Graham.
- Colston drops a pass on 3rd and 5 and a bad punt give Cincy the ball at midfield.
- Bengals seem to want the game much more than the Saints and drive into the red zone.
- Bengals score an easy touchdown to Gresham and take a 20-3 lead.
- Saints start their second drive of the half with an Ingram 13 yards run.
- A Joe Morgan sighting, as he hauls in a pass from Brees for a 1st down.
- Saints end the third quarter facing a 3rd and 4 in Cincy's red zone.
- Brees throws New Orleans' first touchdown of the day to Kenny Stills.
- The Saints cut the lead to 20-10 and there's still hope.
- With the Bengals facing a 3rd and 18 deep in their territory, Saints can't come up with the stop.
- AJ Green is too much for Brian Dixon who the Saints inexplicably had covering Green.
- It was the AJ Green drive as Dalton finds him for another touchdown. 27-10 Cincinnati.
- With 11:29 let in the quarter, the Saints are running out of time down 17 points.
- Brees breaks off a 36-yard run that is brought back by a holding call on Bryce Harris.
- Saints show little sense of desperation, despite being down by 17.
- New Orleans eventually has to punt after failing to convert a 3rd and 12 from their 40-yard line.
- The Bengals take the ball and as was the case all game, they convert a long third down.
- Former LSU RB Jeremy Hill had himself a day, going well over 100 yards against the putrid Saints defense.
- Saints finally get the ball back and promptly fumble it, with Cadet losing the football on a hit by Dunlap.
- The Bengals take a knee and send the Saints to 4-6 and a lot of soul searching to do.