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Saints falter late, lose 30-26 to the Bengals

New Orleans folded when it mattered most

Cincinnati Bengals v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Oh the heels of an impressive win against the Seattle Seahawks last week, the New Orleans Saints (2-3) were welcoming two of Louisiana’s favorite sons in Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase and quarterback Joe Burrow. The former LSU Tigers won a national chamspionship in the Caesars Superdome back in 2019.

For the Saints however, there would be no sentimentality. The team is in dire need of a win, with all of its three top wide receivers absent from the game, and their top cornerback (Marshon Lattimore) also out. Winning, even if ugly and by any means possible is the goal.

In the first half, the Saints would quickly capitalize on a first quarter fumble by the Bengals on a punt return to take a 7-0 lead on a pass from Andy Dalton to Tre’Quan Smith.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals would respond, aided by a questionable roughing-the-passer penalty on Saints’ linebacker Demario Davis, with Burrow finding his running back on a seam route for a touchdown, knotting the game at 7 in the first quarter.

The Saints would regain the lead early in the second quarter, with newly elevated from the practice squad player Rashid Shaheed taking a reverse hand-off 44 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead for New Orleans.

After the Saints had extended their lead to 17-7 on a 37-yard field goal by Wil Lutz, Joe Burrow would lead Cincinnati on a 75-yard drive, capped by a 19-yard touchdown run by Burrow himself to narrow the lead to 17-14 mid-second quarter.

New Orleans would engineer one final drive in the half, and score a 30-yard field goal as time expired on the half to take a 20-14 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, the Saints would start with the ball and consume 7:48 off the clock while converting a 37-yard field goal to take a 9 points lead at 23-14.

The Saints’ defense however did not seem to have gotten out of the locker room just yet, as Burrow carved them up with ease on the next possession, eventually finding Ja’Marr Chase for a touchdown to make the score 23-21 in favor of the Saints.

In a game where the Saints ran the ball with great success, the only blemish on the offense was the inability to score touchdowns in the red zone, as New Orleans would settle for field goal after field goal. Another attempt, a 31-yarder this time, would give the Saints a 26-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.

On the following Bengals drive, the Saints’ defense would finally wake up, sacking Burrow twice and forcing Cincinnati into a long 52-yard field goal that Evan McPherson would convert to make the score 26-24 Saints with only 3:42 left in the game.

The Saints’ offense would then pick the worst possible time to go three-and-out, then shank a punt. Cincinnati, starting on their own 40-yard line, would need only one play from Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase to score a 60-yard touchdown. On the play, Bradley Roby and Tyrann Mathieu both missed tackles. Roby had a rough games, repeatedly lunging and missing tackles instead of wrapping up. With 1:57 on the clock, the Saints trailed 30-26 after the Bengals missed the two-point conversion.

The Saints would engineer a toothless two-minute drive, culminating in a Dalton’s sack and an incomplete deep pass on 4th-and-17. The Saints fall to 2-4, while Cincinnati goes to 3-3 on the season.

New Orleans’ uneven season continues, for a team that is decidedly mediocre in all aspects.

Below is a quarter-by-quarter recap of the game.


First Quarter

  • The Saints win the toss and defer. Bengals start at their 25-yard line. On third down, Demario Davis sacks Burrow for a 10-yard loss and the Bengals punt.
  • Saints return the punt to their 32-yard line. Saints miss on a big play to Rashid Shaheed and stall on third down and punt. On the punt return, the Bengals fumble and the Saints recover at the Bengals’ 32-yard line.
  • Saints get into the red zone on a throw by Taysom Hill to Marquez Callaway. On first down, Andy Dalton finds Tre’Quan Smith for a touchdown, Wil Lutz makes the extra point.
  • NO: 7 - CIN: 0
  • Cincy takes over at their 22-yard line. Bengals move the ball with Joe Burrow using the passing game. Cincy stalls at their own 42-yard line and punts.
  • Saints take over at their 21-yard line, gain one first down and punt.
  • Bengals start at their 24-yard line. Bengals use the pass to move the ball to midfield and into Saints’ territory. A roughing-the-passer penalty is called on Demario Davis and pushes Cincy near the red zone. On 3rd-and-goal from the 9-yard line, Burrow finds Joe Mixon for a touchdown.
  • NO: 7 - CIN: 7
  • Saints start at their 25-yard line and gain a first down as the quarter ends.

Second Quarter

  • The Saints cross midfield on a run by Mark Ingram. On second-and-8 from just inside the Bengals territory, Rashid Shaheed takes a reverse hand-off 44 yards for a touchdown.
  • NO: 14 - CIN: 7
  • Cincy takes over at their 25-yard line and go three-and-out and punt.
  • Saints start at their 25-yard line. Alvin Kamara runs for 25 yards to midfield, then Taysom Hill runs 30 yards to the 20-yard line. On third down, the Saints stall and attempt a field goal. Wil Lutz makes a 37-yard attempt.
  • NO: 17 - CIN: 7
  • Bengals take over at their 25-yard line. Burrow passes to Tyler Boyd to get into Saints’ territory. Cincy gets near the red zone and on third down Joe Burrow runs for 19 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.
  • NO: 17 - CIN: 14
  • Saints start at their 25-yard line. Dalton extends the drive on a quick slant to Juwan Johnson. On 3rd-and-10, Dalton once again converts, this time to Marquez Callaway into Bengals’ territory. Saints run the ball to the 30-yard line with Mark Ingram as the two-minute warning hits. On 3rd-and-12, Dalton finds Tre’Quan Smith for a first down inside the red zone to the 16-yard line. Saints stall and attempt a short field goal. Wil Lutz makes a 30-yard field goal with one second left. Bengals run the clock out as Saints lead 20-14 at halftime.
  • NO: 20- CIN: 14


Third Quarter

  • The Saints begin at their 25-yard line. on 3rd-and-8, Andy Dalton finds Mark Ingram for a first down. Saints go backwards with a slew of penalties, but a roughing-the-passer on the Bengals keeps New Orleans’ drive going. Saints get into Bengals’ territory on a run by Alvin Kamara. Dalton finds Keith Kirkwood for a first down. Alvin Kamara runs to the 20-yard line for a first down. Saints stall and Wil Lutz makes a 37-yard field goal. The Saints’ drive took 7:48 off the clock.
  • NO: 23- CIN: 14
  • Bengals start at their 25-yard line and use the running game with Joe Mixon to move near midfield. Burrow finds Chase into the Saints’ red zone, Burrow then finds Tyler Boyd near the 15-yard line. Burrow finds Ja’Marr Chase for a touchdown in a drive that was as easy as it gets.
  • NO: 23- CIN: 21
  • Saints begin at their 21-yard line. Saints move past midfield as they continue to run the ball down the Bengals’ throat and the quarter ends.

Fourth Quarter

  • Saints get another first down on a pass from Taysom Hill to Callaway. Dalton finds Tre’Quan Smith to the 15-yard line. Saints stall once again in the red zone and Wil Lutz makes a 15-yard field goal.
  • NO: 26- CIN: 21
  • Cincy starts at their 25-yard line. Joe Burrow uses the dark arts to avoid sacks and takes Cincy into Saints’ territory. Burrow finds Chase to extend the drive into Saints’ territory. Saints finally sack Burrow two times in a row to push Cincinnati out of field goal range. Bengals are forced to settle for a field goal. Evan McPherson makes a 52-yard field goal.
  • NO: 26- CIN: 24
  • Saints begin at their 25-yard line. New Orleans goes three-and-out at the worst possible time. Blake Gillikin shanks the punt and the Bengals get the ball at their own 40-yard line. On the first play, Burrow finds Ja’Marr Chase for a 60-yard touchdown. with Bradley Roby missing yet another tackle. Cincy goes for two and misses.
  • NO: 26- CIN: 30
  • Saints begin at their 30-yard line and move the ball to midfield. Saints get into Bengals territory. Dalton is sacked at midfield and Saints face a 4th-and-17 to keep the game alive. Dalton’s long pass to MArquez Callaway falls incomplete and the Bengals win the game.


The Saints are 2-4. Who or what is to blame?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Too many injuries
    (58 votes)
  • 16%
    The quarterbacks are mediocre
    (26 votes)
  • 15%
    Pete Carmichael: he is no Sean Payton at playcalling
    (24 votes)
  • 23%
    Dennis Allen has no authority, team shows no fight!
    (38 votes)
  • 8%
    You can never blame a cheeseburger for anything
    (13 votes)
159 votes total Vote Now