The ecstasy of victory lasted all but one week for the Saints after a 38-3 demolition of the Green Bay Packers. The following week, the Saints were humbled in a 26-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers. At 1-1, New Orleans was eager to try and take the bad taste from Charlotte out of its mouth as it traveled to Foxboro to play the 1-1 New England Patriots.
The Saints started the first half against the Patriots showing the energy that had seemingly left their collective body against Carolina. After New Orleans took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, it held Mac Jones and the New England attack at bay, harassing the rookie quarterback on every passing down. New Orleans would however miss two field goals by the suddenly unreliable Aldrick Rosas, failing to extend their lead.
New Orleans would eventually gain some separation after pressuring Mac Jones into an interception by nickel cornerback P.J. Williams which was returned to the 9-yard line. Jameis Winston would find Marquez Callaway for the latter’s first NFL regular season touchdown, giving the Saints a 14-0 lead. New England would rally for a field goal late in the second quarter to make the margin 14-3 in favor of the Saints at halftime.
The second half would start auspiciously for New Orleans, with Mac Jones throwing an unfortunate pick to Malcolm Jenkins off the hands of Pats’ tight end Jonu Smith. Jenkins would rumble into the end zone, making the score 21-3 after one play in the second half.
New England would then go on a long drive of over 8 minutes, resulting in a field goal that would make the score 21-6 as the third quarter ended. The Saints’ offense went scoreless in the third quarter, leaving the door ajar for the Patriots to attempt a comeback down 15 with one quarter to go.
The Patriots would then go on a 10-0 run, outscoring the Saints’ offense in the entirety of the third quarter, with the lone score by the Saints being a pick six.
Leading 21-13, the Saints would take the ball with over 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter and bleed the clock down below three minutes, while driving into New England’s red zone. Taysom Hill would then plunge into the end zone, restoring the Saints’ two-touchdown lead with 2:37 on the clock.
The Patriots would then take the ball and go into a no-huddle hurry up offense, trying to mount a comeback. The Saints’ defense would play prevent defense, bleeding the clock and forcing the Patriots to use their remaining timeouts. Marshon Lattimore would seal the game with a last minute interception of Jones, the third of the game for the rookie quarterback. Saints win 28-13 and are now 2-1 on the young season with a much-needed win after the embarrassing performance in Carolina last week.
The Saints are coming home for real next week!
Here is a live quarter-by-quarter description of how the game unfolded:
Pats win the toss and defer to the second half. Saints begin the drive with two run plays for a yard. Winston misses on a pass to Chris Hogan and the Saints go three-and-out to start the game.
Pats also go three-and-out and Deonte Harris returns New England’s punt 18 yards to the Saints’ 30-yard line.
Saints gain a first down running the ball, Winston finds Deonte Harris for a first down to extend the drive. Saints eventually get into the Patriots’ red zone, with newly-signed wide receiver Kenny Stills catching a first down along the way. On 3rd-and-7 from the Pats’ 11-yard line, Winston finds Alvin Kamara for a touchdown.
Winston to Kamara for 6️⃣. #Saints— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
: #NOvsNE on FOX
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/yvNASMXZUO
NO: 7 - NE: 0
Pats take over at their 25-yard line, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson announces his return with a sack of Mac Jones on the first play of the drive. Pats eventually stall and have to punt after their second three-and-out in a row.
Saints start from their 15-yard line and gain a first down via two runs by Alvin Kamara. Winston finds Marquez Callaway for a first down, his first catch since week one. On 3rd-and-1 from the Saints 46-yard line, Winston finds Callaway again for a first down into Pats territory. Saints eventually stall at the Pats’ 34-yard line. Aldrick Rosas misses a 52-yard field goal wide left.
Pats take over at their 42-yard line and lose two yards on the first play as the quarter ends.
Pats stall once again and are forced to punt, their third three-and-out in a row.
Saints take over at their 20-yard line after a touchback. Saints go three-and-out after Winston can’t find a receiver on third-and-7 and New Orleans punts.
Pats take over at their 20-yard line and get a first down running the ball with James White. Pats convert on a 3rd-and-8 to keep the drive alive. Facing a 3rd-and-10, Patriots stall at their own 49-yard line. Saints block Jake Bailey’s punt and recover the ball at New England’s 49-yard line.
Saints keep the ball on the ground. Saints get into the red zone running the ball. Matt Judon sacks Jameis Winston on a naked bootleg to force a long third down. Saints eventually stall and Aldrick Rosas misses a 36-yard field goal. Saints will bring kickers for work outs this week.
Pats find a first down to their 44-yard line. On 3rd-and-10 from their own 44-yard line, P.J. Williams intercepts Mac Jones, as Williams returns the pick, he fumbles, which is recovered by the Saints for a touchdown. After review, Williams is ruled down at the 9-yard line.
INTERCEPTED! @PjWilliams_26 picks it off - ruled down at the Pats 9-yd line #NOvsNE | : FOX pic.twitter.com/Zpuyo3KG5I— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 26, 2021
Saints run to the 5-yard line with Alvin Kamara and face a second and goal at the two-minute warning. Winston gets sacked by Dietrich Wise Jr. on second and goal. From the Pats’ 7-yard line, Winston heaves one of his patented crazy pass while getting tackled that Marquez Callaway somehow hauls in for a touchdown. The score was Callaway’s first regular season touchdown.
Famous Jameis making plays… #Saints— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
: #NOvsNE on FOX
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/GA5U50aeaU
NO: 14 - NE: 0
On the first play of the Pats next drive, Jones hits his receiver for a 35-yard gain and immediately finds himself in Saints’ territory. Pats get into the Saints’ red zone in the blink of an eye. Pats face a 4th-and-1 at the Saints’ 22-yard line. Pats false start and decide to settle for a field goal. Nick Folk makes a 45-yard field goal.
NO: 14 - NE: 3
Saints take a knee and go into halftime with an 11-point lead.
On the very first play of the second half, Mac Jones tries to find his tight end Jonu Smith, the ball pops up and Malcolm Jenkins intercepts the pass for a pick six.
.@MalcolmJenkins cruises for the Pick-6 #Saints— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
: #NOvsNE on FOX
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/1i64E353kw
NO: 21 - NE: 3
Pats take over at their 25-yard line and go three-and-out after an incomplete pass to Jonu Smith on third down and are forced to punt.
Saints begin their drive at their own 30-yard line with a good run by Alvin Kamara and keep the ball on the ground. Saints face a 4th-and-2 near midfield. After a false start, Saints are forced to punt.
Pats take over at their 20-yard line. On 3rd-and-2, Pats complete a 27-yard pass into Saints’ territory. Pats keep passing the ball, with Jones using Jacoby Meyers as his favorite target. Patriots get into the Saints’ red zone. Saints play coverage as New England eats up a lot of clock. Patriots stall at the Saints’ 9-yard line and elect to kick a field goal, which Nick Folk converts with only 1:32 left on the clock in the third quarter.
NO: 21 - NE: 6
Saints take over at their 40-yard line after a kick-off out of bounds. Saints immediately face a 3rd-and-11 and Saints stall as Winston’s pass is incomplete. Blake Gillikin unleashes a 56-yard punt as the quarter ends.
Pats start the quarter with an incomplete pass from Mac Jones to Nelson Agholor, but eventually convert for a first down. On the fourth play of the drive, Tanoh Kpassagnon sacks Jones for a 14-yard loss, setting the Pats back. On 3rd-and-19, Jones is forced to scramble and is well short. Pats punt for a touchback.
Saints take over at their 20-yard line and start the drive with two runs with Alvin Kamara that lose yards. Matt Judon sacks Winston on third-and-12 as the Saints’ offense is now in full lull mode. Saints punt and New England returns the ball into Saints’ territory.
Patriots start at the Saints’ 44-yard line and get into the red zone on a run by Mac Jones. On the very next play, Jones finds Kendrick Bourne for a touchdown.
Mac Jones lobs it up and Kendrick Bourne makes a play #ForeverNE— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
: #NOvsNE on FOX
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/B8Wi99AvkN
NO: 21 - NE: 13
Saints take over at their 25-yard line and start with an incompletion and a run with Taysom Hill that went nowhere. On 3rd-and-7, Winston finds Deonte Harris near the 40-yard line to keep the drive alive. Winston would find Harris again for another first down in New England’s territory. Taysom Hill would then run between the tackles, followed by Kamara into the Pats’ red zone. Saints use a quarterback sneak efficiently to gain a first down and further eat up the clock, with the drive now over 6 minutes long. Saints eventually score on a run by Taysom Hill into the end zone. The drive took nearly 7 minutes.
Taysom touchdown @T_Hill4 #Saints— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
: #NOvsNE on FOX
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/cwSOxkQl8p
NO: 28 - NE: 13
Pats take over at their 25-yard line and are moving the ball as the two-minute warning hits, with the Saints keeping the ball in front of them and playing coverage. New Orleans seals the deal with an interception of Mac Jones by Marshon Lattimore. Saints win 28-13 and are now 2-1 on the season.
Marshon shut it down - SAINTS WIN!— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 26, 2021
: FOX | @shonrp2 pic.twitter.com/wCptn392MM
Who is today’s Saints’ MVP?
This poll is closed
The defense! Put up a clinic!
Sean Payton, who clearly had his team ready to play.
Alvin Kamara, who set the tone for the team, going over 100 scrimmage yards.
The triple bacon double-patty burger is always the real MVP.
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