It’s time to reveal the Top 10 Saints Plays of the Season so far, and I apologize in advance for having inconsistent viewing options.
Honorable Mentions: Lutz’s 57 yard FG vs Atlanta, Kuhn’s third TD vs San Diego, Cooks burns Zack Sanchez for TD vs Carolina, Stupar picks off Wilson vs Seattle, Brees’s QB sneak for a TD vs Seattle, Robertson picks off Kap vs San Francisco, Saints stuff 4th-and-1 vs San Francisco, & Vaccaro forces late fumble vs San Francisco.
So without further adieu...
#10. Wil Lutz hits 52-yard game-winning FG, Week 6 vs Carolina Panthers
This kick is especially important because it comes after he missed multiple kicks earlier in the season. The game was tied late, and a 51-yard shot is by no means a guarantee. Granted, it was only tied (not a lead-changing score) at the time, but it helped the Saints secure a much needed win.
Mark Ingram’s big run, Week 9 at San Francisco 49ers
Mark Ingram was expected to have a big game against the 49ers if he saw time on the field, but his seeing time on the field was in question after getting benched the week before. Ingram was able to rebound with a career-high game, including this monster run for 75 yards and a score.
Michael Mauti sack fumble of Eli Manning, Week 2 at New York Giants
The Saints didn’t go on to win this game, but not for lack of opportunity. And this key sack fumble of Eli Manning by Mauti, predominately a special teams player, came in a key situation.
Brandin Cooks 98-yard touchdown catch and run, Week 1 vs Oakland Raiders
Here’s another game the Saints didn’t win. Brandin Cooks did everything he could to secure a win for New Orleans, including a career-high 98-yard catch and run for a score where he outran the Raiders secondary for a long TD.
Von Bell’s helmet helps Melvin Gordon drop ball, Week 4 at San Diego Chargers
If I didn’t feel like Gordon’s late costly fumble was partly due to luck, it would be ranked higher. In any case, Vonn Bell is able to get his helmet to hit (or at least nudge) the ball out of Melvin Gordon’s hands when all Gordon had to do was run out the clock. This helped the Saints secure their first win of the season.
Sterling Moore INT for a touchback, Week 6 vs Carolina Panthers
Sterling Moore had moments of brilliance and moments of sheer absurdity in the game against the Panthers, but this was definitely one of the former. Running with the receiver all the way, Moore shows of excellent concentration to grab the pick in the endzone and get both feet in bounds for a touchback.
Michael Thomas shows off concentration to haul in TD, Week 9 at San
This is on the list for the sheer amount of concentration Thomas had to turn this Drew Brees pass into a touchdown. The ball hits the 49ers defender in the back, bounces toward Thomas who was falling backwards already, and Thomas is able to catch the ball and land with his butt in the end zone for a TD.
Richard Sherman bites on flea flicker, Week 8 vs Seattle Seahawks
Maybe this play doesn’t deserve to be as high as others on this list, but I can’t help it. Seeing Richard Sherman be made to look silly on a play is worth it. After the Seahawks tried a little bit of trickery with a lateral and pass, the Saints get a big completion on some trickery of their own, with Brees hitting Brandon Coleman on the flea flicker.
Michael Thomas 5-yard TD catch on 4th and 2, Week 4 at San Diego Chargers
It can’t be stressed how important the first win of the year is, and on 4th-and-2, the Saints season could have stopped before it started if the Saints don’t get a score here. Thomas is able to hold on to the ball and has the body awareness to keep both feet in the endzone just long enough for the score.
B.W. Webb doesn’t allow Kearse to come down in bounds, Week 8 vs Seattle Seahawks
We all let out a collective sigh of relief when Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse wasn’t able to come down in bounds to end the game against Seattle. The Seahawks were able to drive down the field as time was expiring and had one final shot at the end zone on the last play to win the game. The unlikely hero, B.W. Webb, guides Kearse toward the back of the end zone keeps the Seahawks from stealing a victory in New Orleans.