Last week, the New Orleans Saints squandered an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants in their first game of the season in the Caesars Superdome. At 2-2, the Saints were back on the road today in Washington, facing the 2-2 Football Team, which was coming off a victory on the road in Atlanta. How did New Orleans fare after the gut-wrenching defeat against New York? Let’s take a look.
The game started with the Saints throwing the ball four consecutive times, and on the fourth throw, Jameis Winston lofted an interception on a woefully underthrown pass to Taysom Hill. The Saints’ defense would bow its neck and hold WFT to a field goal. On the following possession, the Saints would have a short drive lasting a minute and 14 seconds, culminating into a 72-yard touchdown bomb from Winston to Deonte Harris, giving the Saints a 7-3 lead.
Winston’s gifts were not finished however, as he would fumble two drives later, giving the ball back to WFT. The Saints would then incur a succession of penalties that would eventually lead to Washington retaking the lead with a touchdown by Antonio Gibson early in the second quarter, giving WFT a 13-7 lead.
The Saints would respond in kind, with Alvin Kamara exploding into the end zone for a touchdown, tying the game at 13. New Saints kicker Cody Parkey would then miss the extra point. Welcome to New Orleans Cody, your stay will be brief. On the drive, Taysom Hill would be injured by a dirty hit to the head by WFT cornerback William Jackson III.
The Saints’ defense would hold the WFT out of the end zone on two consecutive drives, first with an interception by rookie cornerback Paulson Adebo (his second of the season) and then on a stop on 4th-and-10. After an incredible 60-yard punt by Blake Gillikin that pinned the WFT at their own one-yard line, the Saints would force a punt returned to the WFT 48-yard line by Alvin Kamara, with Deonte Harris having suffered a hamstring injury. Jameis Winston would then heave a Hail Mary into the Washington sky with 8 seconds left into the half. Marquez Callaway would haul the pass in and give the Saints an improbable 20-13 at halftime, despite having committed two turnovers and a myriad of untimely penalties.
The Saints would hold the WFT to quick punts in their first two possessions of the third quarter, with Marshon Lattimore showing up big guarding his former college teammate wide receiver Terry McLaurin. New Orleans’ offense would return the favor, going unable to do anything with its first two possessions of the half.
The WFT would finally get going on offense, driving into the Saints’ red zone on a long drive in the third quarter. The Saints’ defense once again would stiffen, limiting the WFT to another short field goal, making the score 20-16 Saints.
New Orleans’ offense would once again fail to produce, but this was the Blake Gillikin show, as he pinned the WFT to their two-yard line. Three plays later, Taylor Heinicke would throw and interception to Saints’ corner back P.J. Williams at the WFT 27-yard line. Winston would then find Callaway for the latter’s second touchdown of the day to make the score 27-16 Saints in the fourth quarter. The ominous 11-point lead that the Saints had given up in the fourth quarter last week.
The Saints’ defense would then allow the WFT to drive 75 yards for a touchdown, in a drive that included a 4th-and-14 completion. After a missed two-point conversion, the Saints lead was 27-22.
New Orleans would respond however, with Sean Payton pulling off a gutsy 4th-and-1 call from his own 35-yard line. The drive would end with Alvin Kamara catching a wheel route pass into the end zone to give New Orleans a 33-22 lead with just over three minutes left in the half. Oh and yes, Cody Parkey missed his second extra point of the game. It was nice knowing you, mister Parkey.
The Saints’ defense would not wilt this time, eventually stopping the WFT and Taylor Heinicke on 4th-and-10 from near midfield.
The Saints’ offense would bleed the clock and complete the win, a 33-22 victory that moves New Orleans to 3-2 on the season while WFT falls to 2-3.
Here is a live quarter-by-quarter description of how the game unfolded:
WFT wins the toss and defers to the second half, Saints start with the ball. Saints immediately face a 3rd-and-6, Winston finds Kenny Stills for a first down to keep the drive alive. On the fifth play of the drive, Winston throws an interception on an underthrown pass to Taysom Hill.
WFT takes over at the Saints’ 30-yard line. Taylor Heinicke misses on third down, as WFT settles for a 45-yard field goal.
NO: 0 - WFT: 3
Saints take over at their 25-yard line a face a third-and-7, Jameis Winston finds Deonte Harris for a bomb and a 72-yard touchdown.
NO: 7 - WFT: 3
WFT takes over at their 20-yard line and gets into Saints’ territory in three plays. Taylor Heinicke finds Terry McLaurin for a 19-yard pass into the Saints’ red zone. On third-and goal, Marshon Lattimore breaks up a pass intended for Ricky Seals-Jones, forcing WFT to attempt a 23-yard field goal, which Dustin Hopkins converts.
NO: 7 - WFT: 6
After a touchback, Winston and the Saints start at their 25-yard line and start with a wheel route play to Alvin Kamara for 20-yards. Two plays later, Winston fumbles the ball and WFT recovers in Saints’ territory, Winston’s and the Saints’ second turnover of the game.
WFT takes over at the Saints’ 44-yard line. After a holding penalty, Carl Granderson sacks Taylor Heinicke for the Saints’ first of the game. Saints thwart the WFT drive and stop them at midfield. Saints rough the kicker on the punt and WFT get the ball back at the Saints’ 34-yard line. A pass interference on Bradley Roby gets WFT in the red zone. WFT gets close to the end zone as the first quarter ends.
On the second play of the quarter, Antonio Gibson rushes into the end zone for a touchdown.
NO: 7 - WFT: 13
Saints start at their 25-yard line and quickly get past midfield on passes to Taysom Hill and Marquez Callaway. On the next play, a penalty on a dirty hit to the head by William Jackson III on Taysom Hill puts the Saints inside WFT territory. Two plays later, Alvin Kamara explodes into the end zone for a touchdown. Cody Parkey missed the extra point.
NO: 13 - WFT: 13
WFT takes over at their 25-yard line and immediately Heinicke finds Deandre Baker for 17 yards. Saints’ defensive line woes continue, as Heinicke has a lot of time to survey the field and launch passes down the field. WFT gets into Saints territory and into the red zone using the pass, as the Saints’ pass rush remains conspicuously absent. Near the end zone, Taylor Heinicke throws an interception to Saints’ rookie Paulson Adebo, his second interception of the season.
Saints take over at their two-yard line and New Orleans tries to throw the ball on every play and cannot convert. Saints’ punt and WFT takes over at New Orleans’ 48-yard line.
WFT converts on third down with Heinicke running for a first down. Saints eventually stop the WFT on 3rd-and-10 and they go for it on 4th-and-10 and fail to complete the pass, giving the Saints the ball back at their own 35-yard line.
On second down, Jameis Winston runs for s first down, extending the Saints’ drive. Winston is then sacked by Duron Payne, pushing New Orleans back. Saints fail to execute on a screen play and are forced to punt. Blake Gillikin pins the WFT at their own one-yard line with an insane 60-yard punt.
WFT takes over at their one-yard line and run three times without reaching a first down and punt. Alvin Kamara returns the punt to the WFT 48-yard line.
With 8 seconds left in the half, Winston heaves a Hail Mary that Marquez Callaway catches from 49 yards out for a touchdown with no time left on the clock. Improbably, the Saints go into halftime with a 7-point lead, despite two turnovers and a myriad of untimely penalties.
NO: 20 - WFT: 13
Saints kickoff to the WFT, who return the kick to their 25-yard line. On 3rd-and-7, Marshon Lattimore breaks up a pass intended for Terry McLaurin, forcing the WFT to punt, Alvin Kamara returns the punt to the Saints’ 35-yard line.
Saints take over at their 35, and go three-and-out as well, Blake Gillikin again punts a beauty, a 57-yarder to the WFT 3-yard line.
WFT gets out of the shadow of their end zone but on the next third down, Marshon Lattimore again breaks up a pass intended to his former college teammate Terry McLaurin. Lattimore is having a whale of a game!
Alvin Kamara returns the punt to the Saints’ 33-yard line. New Orleans tries two passes in a row, with Kamara dropping a perfectly thrown pass on first down. Saints go three-and-out once again and Gillikin punts a 52-yarder.
WFT takes over at their 25-yard line and use the run to get into Saints’ territory. WFT moves the ball as the Saints’ defense shows its first signs of tiring with shoddy tackling. On 3rd-and-goal, linebacker Pete Werner breaks up a pass intended for Ricky Seals-Jones, as the Saints force the WFT to a 24-yard field goal.
NO: 20 - WFT: 16
Saints begin at their 25-yard line and start with a run play. Winston then finds Marquez Callaway for a first down. Saints eventually faces a 3rd-and-14 after an incomplete pass and a good play by the WFT defense on second down, as the quarter ends.
Saints cannot convert, as Winston gains 12 yards on 3rd-and-14. Saints punt. Gillikin, who is putting on a clinic pins the WFT at their two-yard line, this time a 53-yarder.
WFT takes over at their 2-yard line and faces a quick 3rd-and-10. On 3rd down, Taylor Heinicke throws a pick to P.J. Williams at WFT’s 27-yard line.
Winston finds Adam Trautman for a first down on the very next play. On third down, Winston finds Marquez Callaway for a touchdown, as Saints extend their lead to 11 points.
NO: 27 - WFT: 16
WFT take over at their 25-yard line after a touchback. Heinicke finds Adam Humphries for a 26-yard pass into Saints’ territory. On 3rd-and-12 from just inside Saints’ territory, Demario Davis sacks Taylor Heinicke forcing a 4th-and-14. WFT goes for it and converts to Deandre Baker as the Saints went with the dreadful 3-man rush. Heinicke runs to make it first-and-goal. A pass interference on Marshon Lattimore would then put the ball at the Saints’ one-yard line and Antonio Gibson runs into the end zone for a touchdown.
WFT goes for two and the pass is batted down and incomplete.
NO: 27 - WFT: 22
Saints take over at their 25-yard line. Saints face a 3rd-and-1 and cannot gain a yard on a sneak play. Facing 4th-and-1 at their own 35-yard line, Winston converts, a gutsy call by Sean Payton. Winston then finds Adam Trautman for a huge 34-yard gain into WFT territory. Alvin Kamara then runs for a first down. Jameis Winston then finds Alvin Kamara for a 19-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Cody Parkey misses his second extra point of the game.
NO: 33 - WFT: 22
WFT takes over at their 25-yard line and Heinicke continues using the passing game to move the WFT near midfield. On 4th-and-10, Marshon Lattimore breaks up a pass intended to McLaurin again, putting up a clinic too.
Saints take over at midfield and drive to the WFT’s 40-yard line, while forcing Washington to take their timeouts. Saints bleed out the clock and win the game 33-22 and are now 3-2 on the season.
Who was the Saints’ MVP today in Washington?
This poll is closed
Marshon Lattimore who single-handedly shut down Terry McLaurin
The Saints’ defense as a whole who didn’t wilt in the fourth quarter
Jameis, who successfully handled throwing the ball more today
Sean Payton for having the guts to make some tough calls today
The quadruple bacon cheeseburger will always be the real MVP
Punter Blake Gillikin, whom I unforgivably forgot earlier. What a game!
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