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What We Learned: Redskins had Saints in a squeeze, but Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara got the Juice

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The Saints are on an 8-game win streak behind the efforts of the most dynamic RB duo in the league.

Game Over!

With roughly six minutes to go, Kirk Cousins drove the Redskins (blank yards) down the field and threw a TD pass to Jeremy Sprinkle - that was promptly referred to as “The Dagger” by Troy Aikman during the broadcast to put the Redskins up 31-16 in the 4th.

Fans started to leave the stadium (shame on you), broadcasters started referring to the Saints as 7-3, and even in live thread chat here at CSC presented comments like “Welp, that’s the game” were casually tossed around. Heck, the Redskins win probability at that point was 98.9% with 4:16 left on the clock.

Then “IT” started to happened

On the ensuing offensive possession, Drew Brees marched the Saints down the field 75 yards with pinpoint throws to the once MIA Coby Fleener to put the Saints on the Redskins goal line with 3:35 left. He then capped it off with a strike to Josh Hill to make the score 31-23.

Could the defense come up with a stop? Semaje Perine had rattled off two runs that totaled 9 yards, leaving the ball game to be decided by a 3rd and 1 that if converted would successfully end the game. Insert Vonn Bell and Manti Te’o for the first clutch stop of the comeback!

Is this really happening, I asked myself?

My next immediate thought was “only thing left is for Drew Brees to be Drew Brees and get us back down the field. Michael Thomas comes through with a clutch catch and run to stop the clock.

Then in comes Agent 41 (Alvin Kamara) sipping “I’m Clutch” juice with the below TD and subsequent 2-point conversion to tie the game.

At this point, my head is pounding. My teeth have been clenched the past hour and the last thing I want as a Saints fan is all that to be for naught and we end up losing the game.

We needed one more defensive stop, and some luck......or was it luck and one more defensive stop?

Kirk Cousins heard me and said - Hold my Beer!

Then Vonn Bell was like:

“No panic, Bell said. “Coach said before the game it was going to be a fight for four quarters, and that’s exactly what it was. When we scored and tied it up, we weren’t really surprised.

“I missed so many plays—I just really had to make this play,” Bell said

Overtime!!!!

The defense then came out and took command of OT early by killing the Redskins drive with a sack from Cam Jordan.

All that was left was for Angry Mark Ingram to make an appearance, and boy did he ever. He proceeded to run the ball twice for 50+ Yards to set up the Saints for their game winning Wil Lutz field goal to beat the Redskins 34-31 in OT.

NFL: Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints Daily Advertiser-USA TODAY Sports

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Everyone has been impressed with Alvin Kamara with the ball in his hands. For me, the two blitz pickups he made in pass protection that resulted in completions for Brees were unnoticed highlights.
  • For Coby Fleener to come into the game “cold” like that and make the plays he made was clutch. That game-tying drive doesn’t happen if he has a case of the dropsies like Vernon Davis.
  • Why exactly did we run a jet sweep with Ginn to spread the Redskins out when they hadn’t proven they could stop the run up the middle?
  • We hired a special teams coach prior to this game, and would you know it was Lutz hitting all of his FGs plus the game winner that made the difference?
  • Replacing Okafor’s ability in run defense will be hard. The weak side of our defense has taken a hit with he and Alex Anzalone both ending up on IR.
  • Starting to notice the pattern yet? Since Week 3, teams have come to us hurt or after losses and they leave even more hurt with another loss. Waves @ Rams :D
  • Saints are now ranked 3rd in Rushing Yards Per Game, Tied for 1st in Yards Per Carry with 4.8, and 1st in Rushing TDs with 15.
  • Saints defense is now tied for 8th in Points Per Game, Tied for 4th in pass deflections, and 10th in completion percentage.
  • Getting Kenny Vaccaro back will keep De’Vante Harris off the field. Love the kid, hate his mental gaffes.

With the Saints winning their 8th straight, the games will only get tougher and bigger. The most significant takeaway from this game was the demonstrated ability of this team to handle adversity. There were only 5 players left from the last winning season and only 2 left from the Super Bowl season. This was not a team that was familiar with coming back the way they did against the Redskins. The magic of Drew Brees hadn’t been experienced by a ton of the younger players. Now that they know they are never out of it, It’s just another lesson learned as this team continues to grow and get better. Drop your comments below Who Dat!