Coming off a gut-wrenching 48-46 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints (11-3) were offered a great chance to once again vie for a top-two spot in the NFC when the same 49ers (11-3) lost to the Atlanta Falcons (5-10) on Sunday.
To keep said hopes of a first-round bye in the playoffs alive, the Saints would have to defeat the Indianapolis Colts (6-7) who came to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome desperate to keep their faint playoffs hopes alive.
The Saints would not waste any time jumping on the Colts, as New Orleans led 20-0 at halftime, a half highlighted by Drew Brees throwing two touchdown passes to tie Peyton Manning for first in career touchdown passes in NFL history.
In the second half, the Saints’ signal caller would not relent, throwing two more touchdown passes in the third quarter, one to tight end Josh Hill to break Peyton Manning’s record, and the second to Do-it-All joker extraordinaire Taysom Hill to become the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 541 touchdown passes. The Saints at that point of the game, had built up a 34-0 lead.
The Saints would then park the proverbial bus and control the clock, while the Colts would try and break the shut out. Facing a lot of Saints’ backups, notably in the secondary, the Colts would drive deep into Saints’ territory for the first time of the night and score a touchdown to reduce New Orleans lead to 34-7.
Teddy Bridgewater would then see the field for the first time, with New Orleans looking to run out the clock and end the game by taking a knee. Dwayne Washington would end the game with a first down, and New Orleans would indeed finish the game with its offense taking a knee for an 34-7 victory.
The Saints get back on track after the loss to San Francisco, and are now looking to finish the season strong with two road games coming up at Tennessee and Carolina.
Here is how the game unfolded as if you were there:
- Saints win the toss and defer to the second half, with the Colts returning the kickoff to their 10-yard line. Indianapolis faces a third down on their third play, with Jacoby Brissett converting to keep the Colts’ drive alive. The Colts eventually stall near their 40-yard line and punt. After a re-kick due to a holding penalty on the Colts, the Saints block the punt and start with excellent position in Colts’ territory.
- Saints start at the Colts’ 30-yard line, with a four-yard run by Latavius Murray and get a first down on a catch by Michael Thomas. After a penalty on Larry Warford, the Saints eventually stall just inside the Colts’ 20-yard line. Wil Lutz then makes a 33-yard field goal to give New Orleans a 3-0 lead.
- NO: 3 - IND: 0
- Colts take over at their 25-yard line after a touchback by Wil Lutz. Brissett drives his team into Saints’ territory, using runs by Marlon Mack and short passes. On third-and-8 from the Saints’ 39-yard line, Demario Davis breaks up a pass to force the Colts to punt again.
- Saints are pinned to their 10-yard line and start the drive with a positive run by Alvin Kamara. Brees gets the Saints out of the shadow of their end zone on a 23-yard pass to Michael Thomas. After a 10-yard screen to Latavius Murray, Saints get into Colts’ territory on a run by Alvin Kamara. Saints face a third-and-2 at the Colts 37-yard line as the quarter ends.
- A holding penalty on the Colts keeps the Saints drive alive. On 3rd-and-11, Brees finds Jared Cook on a beautiful seam route to put the Saints in the red zone. On the thirteenth play of the drive, Brees finds Michael Thomas for a touchdown. This was Brees’ 538th career touchdown pass, putting him second behind Peyton Manning at that point.
- NO: 10 - IND: 0
- Colts take over at their 25-yard line. Brissett throws three incomplete passes and Indy goes three-and-out for the first time of the evening.
- Saints start at their 15-yard line after being set back by a penalty. On third down, Zach Line rushes for a first down. Brees then finds Michael Thomas for a 24-yard gain to midfield. After a first round pass to Latavius Murray for 10 yards, Saints gain another first down with Zach Line. Saints move the ball methodically, eating up a lot of time on the clock. Brees then finds Tre’Quan Smith for a 21-yard touchdown down the seam, Brees’ 539th career touchdown pass, tying him with Peyton Manning for first all-time.
- NO: 17 - IND: 0
- Colts take over at their 25-yard line and on 3rd-and-10, Brissett finds his tight end Jack Doyle for a first down to keep the Colts’ drive going. Another pass to wide receiver Zach Pascal gets Indy near midfield. On 3rd-and-15, the Saints pressure Brissett into an incomplete pass and the Colts are forced to punt again.
- Saints are pinned at their 12-yard line and start with a 7-yard run by Alvin Kamara. Brees then finds Ted Ginn Jr. for 13 yards and then Michael Thomas near midfield as the 2-minute warning hits. Brees then floats a pass to Jared Cook for 20 yards into Colts’ territory. Brees finds Cook and Thomas to get the Saints inside the red zone. Brees finds Tre’Quan Smith for a touchdown that is called back on a pass interference penalty on Smith. Saints settle for a 26-yard field goal by Wil Lutz as time expires.
- NO: 20 - IND: 0
- Colts kickoff and Saints take over at their 25-yard line and Saints start with a 4-yard run by Alvin Kamara. On 3rd-and-1, Taysom Hill runs for a first down. Saints’ right guard Larry Warford was hurt on the play. On the next play, Alvin Kamara rushes for 11 yards to midfield. The Saints get into Colts territory on a pass to Michael Thomas and a run by Latavius Murray. Saints once again chew up the clock, and Brees finds Michael Thomas inside the Colts’ 30-yard line. Brees then finds Taysom Hill inside the Colts’ 5-yard line, and then tight end Josh Hill for a touchdown, Brees’ 540th career touchdown, first in NFL history.
- NO: 27 - IND: 0
- Colts take over at their 25-yard line. Colts fail to convert on third down and go for it on 4th-and-1 at their 34-yard line. A holding penalty on Eli Apple guarding T.Y. Hilton which keeps the Colts’ drive alive. Indy drives methodically, still using the running game despite being down 27. Colts once again face a 4th down, on 4th-and-8 from the Saints’ 49-yard line and Marshon Lattimore breaks up Brissett’s deep pass, and Saints take over on downs.
- Alvin Kamara gets a 15-yard run to start the drive, followed by an 8-yard run by Latavius Murray. On the next play, Brees finds Taysom Hill for a touchdown a 28-yard touchdown. This was the Saints’ shortest drive of the game, just 1:23 minutes.
- NO: 34 - IND: 0
- Colts take over at their 25-yard line and face a 3rd-and-4 at their 31-yard line as the quarter ends
- Colts come up short on rd down and go for it on 4th-and-1 from their 34-yard line. Indy false starts and elects to punt. Deonte Harris returns the punt to the Saints’ 38-yard line.
- Saints go three-and-out for the first time of the game and Thomas Morstead punts for the first time of the game, which pins the Colts at their 15-yard line.
- Colts start with a good pass to Zach Pascal for 24 yards. On 3rd-and-7 from the Colts’ 42-yard line, the Saints sack Jacoby Brissett for the first time of the game, forcing Indy to punt.
- Saints take over at their own 32-yard line and face a 4th-and-2 at their own 40-yard line. New Orleans punts and Colts take over at their 20-yard line.
- Colts start with a short pass interference penalty on Marshon Lattimore guarding T.Y. Hilton. Indy gets a first down to Jack Doyle and then into Saints’ territory on a pass to Marcus Johnson. Facing a 4th-and-4 from the Saints’ 40-yard line, Brissett finds T.Y. Hilton for an 11-yard completion. A pass interference penalty on Saquon Hampton gives the Colts a first down at the Saints’ one-yard line. Jordan Wilkins then runs into the end zone for a touchdown.
- NO: 34 - IND: 7
- Saints take over at their 25-yard line, with Teddy Bridgewater taking over at quarterback. Dwayne Washington runs for a first down, as the 2-minute warning hits. Saints kneel down to end the game with a 34-7 victory.
- Saints Win! Saints Win!
Who gets your game ball for the Saints tonight?
This poll is closed
Drew Breeeeeeeees!!! Best TD passer in NFL history
The defense, who bounced back nicely against the overmatched Colts
There was no one else. Pass me a burger bro!