Coming yet another turnover-filled, disappointing loss against the Arizona Cardinals about 10 days ago, the New Orleans Saints (2-5), who miraculously are still in the race for the NFC South title, were facing the Las Vegas Raiders (2-4) in the Caesars Superdome. Still besieged by injuries, the Saints were however sticking with quarterback Andy Dalton despite former starter Jameis Winston being allegedly healthy. Despite turning the ball over numerous times against the Cardinals, Dalton has led to a resurgence of the Saints’ offense. On the other side of the ball however, the Saints’ defense has been anything but the strong unit that was expected before the season began.
In the first half, the Saints would draw first blood, with Alvin Kamara scoring, astonishingly, his first touchdown of the season to give New Orleans a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. The Saints would add a field goal in the second quarter after a Raiders’ botched fake punt that backfired and gave New Orleans a short field.
On the ensuing Raiders’ drive, Tyrann Mathieu would show his instincts for the ball again, picking off a Pete Werner-tipped pass from Derek Carr to Hunter Renfrow, and giving the Saints the ball at the Raiders’ 45-yard line. Andy Dalton would engineer a drive culminating with a touchdown pass to Alvin Kamara to give New Orleans a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter. New Orleans would drive all the way into the Raiders’ red zone again late in the second quarter, but showing no urgency or aggressiveness whatsoever, the Saints would stall and play for the field goal, a 38-yard attempt that the struggling Wil Lutz would miss, to give New Orleans a 17-0 lead at halftime. On the season, Lutz is now 12 of 17 in field goal attempts. No very good.
In the second half, the Saints started with the ball, and engineered a 75-yard touchdown drive as Andy Dalton found a streaky Alvin Kamara in the seams for a touchdown to give New Orleans at 24-0 lead early in the third quarter.
Through the third quarter, New Orleans would hold the Raiders scoreless, in what was the Saints’ most dominant defensive performance of the season thus far. In the fourth quarter, the Saints would bleed the clock, holding the ball for most of the quarter, content to protect a 24-0 lead.
New Orleans would eventually shut the door defensively, defeating Las Vegas 24-0 and shutting down a high-powered offense that came into the Superdome flying high.
The Saints are now 3-5 and keep pace in the NFC South.
Below is a quarter-by-quarter recap of the action
- Saints win the toss and defer, Raiders start at their 25-yard line after a touchback on kickoff. Raiders go three-and-out.
- Saints take over at their 33-yard line. Saints also go three-and-out and punt.
- Raiders take over at their 16-yard line. Las Vegas gets to midfield. Raiders eventually stall and are forced to punt.
- Saints take over at their 15-yard line. Saints move the ball into Raiders’ territory on a 30-yard pass from Dalton to Shaheed. Saints get deeper into the red zone on a run by Taysom Hill.
- Alvin Kamara runs into the end zone for a touchdown, his first of the season!
- NO: 7 - LV: 0
- Raiders begin at their 25-yard line. Las Vegas gets near midfield as the quarter ends.
- Raiders fail on 3rd-and-1 near midfield, then go for a fake on the punt and are stopped, A penalty on Las Vegas gives New Orleans the ball at the Raiders’ 27-yard line.
- Saints begin at the 27-yard line and face a 4th-and-1 at the Raiders’ 18-yard line. New Orleans goes for 3 and Wil Lutz makes 35-yarder.
- NO: 10 - LV: 0
- Raiders return the kickoff to their 21-yard line. On third down, Tyrann Mathieu intercepts a deflected pass by Carr intended for Hunter Renfrow.
- Saints take over at the Raiders’ 45-yard line. Saints gain first downs via Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill’s runs. Saints get into the red zone on a pass from Dalton to Olave. Dalton finds Alvin Kamara in the seams for a touchdown.
- NO: 17 - LV: 0
- Raiders take over at their 25-yard line and on third down, Marcus Davenport sacks Derek Carr but a holding on Paulson Adebo keeps the Raiders’ drive alive. Raiders get near Saints’ territory with Carr finding Foster Moreau. Raiders eventually stall at their 49-yard line and punt.
- Saints get the ball at their 26-yard line with 3:04 left in the quarter. Dalton finds Chris Olave on third down to gain a first down at the two-minute warning. Saints cross midfield and get inside the red zone using quick short passes. Saints eventually stall and Wil Lutz misses a 38-yard field goal and the Raiders kneel to end the half.
- Saints start at their 25-yard line. A pass interference on the Raiders keeps the Saints drive alive at midfield. Saints get into Raiders’ territory on a run by Taysom Hill. Dalton finds Alvin Kamara for a 36-yard touchdown pass, as Kamara continues a stellar day.
- NO: 24 - LV: 0
- Raiders take over at their 25-yard line and drive near midfield. David Onyemata sacks Carr, Onyemata’s first of the year. On the ensuing play, Cam Jordan sacks Carr again. Raiders face a 4th-and-13 and are forced to punt.
- Saints take over at their 18-yard line and get a first down on a run by Taysom Hill. Saints stall just into Raiders territory and punt.
- Raiders begin at their 13-yard line and move the ball to the 40-yard line. Las Vegas faces a 1st-and-20 after a holding penalty as the quarter ends.
- Payton Turner sacks Carr and the Saints hold the Raiders and force them to punt.
- Saints begin at their 7-yard line. Andy Dalton works with Chris Olave to keep the chains moving. New Orleans keeps the ball on the ground and bleeds the clock. Dalton finds Olave for 13 yards to the Raiders’ 38-yard line. Saints stall at Las Vegas’ 32-yard line. Saints go for it and the pass falls incomplete.
- Raiders take over at their 32-yard line, with Jared Stidham at the helm, as Derek Carr’s day is over. Payton Turner sacks Stidham, the Saints’ fourth on the day. Stidham gets the Raiders into Saints’ territory for the first time all day, with less than two-minutes left in the game. Raiders convert a 4th-and-5 from the Saints’ 45-yard line. Raiders move into the red zone but time runs out and the Saints win the game 24-0 in their most complete game of the season.
With today’s win over the Raiders, are the Saints back?
This poll is closed
Yes baby! And the NFC South can still be ours!
Nah, show me some consistency first then I’ll believe
They aren’t, but there were some good signs today
If the defense can keep playing like this, they have my attention.
Wait, the triple whopper burger with cheddar is back?