At 3-7, the New Orleans Saints’ 2022 NFL season is pretty much over. However, despite that grim assessment, the Saints have a lot of question going into an offseason that could shape the direction of the franchise for many years to come: Is Dennis Allen the right man for the job? Is Jameis Winston the quarterback of the future? Can the team finish strong enough to justify bringing back either men?
In the first half, the Saints deferred and after stopping the Rams on defense, opened the score in the first quarter with a 46-yard field goal by Wil Lutz. The lead was short-lived, as the Rams immediately responded with a 34-yard kickoff return and a 62-yard touchdown bomb from Matthew Stafford to Tutu Atwell to take a 7-3 lead.
In the second quarter, the Saints offense woke up, in a good drive that saw efficient runs by Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill, and culminated in a touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Juwan Johnson to give the Saints a 10-7 lead.
Los Angeles responded eventually at the end of the second quarter, executing a perfect two-minute drive that started at their own 13-yard line and scoring a touchdown from Matthew Stafford to Allen Robinson to take a 14-10 lead with 19 seconds left in the half. The Saints did not do anything with their possession, and trailed by four at halftime.
In the second half, the Saints opened with a 9-play, 75 yards drive punctuated by a touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Jarvis Landry, marking the first touchdown for Landry as a player for his hometown team. New Orleans led 17-14.
Following a sack of Matthew Stafford by linebacker Demario Davis, the Saints marched down yet again, but this time using the big play, a 52-yard touchdown bomb from Andy Dalton to Chris Olave to give New Orleans a 24-14 lead midway through the third quarter.
After the Rams scored a field goal on their ensuing drive, played with Bryce Perkins at quarterback, as Matthew Stafford got hurt on the sack by Demario Davis, the Saints answered with a field goal of their own, to take a 27-17 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Saints’ defense finally stepped up late in the game, sacking Perkins on consecutive plays late in the fourth quarter to give their offense the ball back and preserve the Saints’ 10-point lead. New Orleans’ offense forced the Rams to take two of their three timeouts, but could not finish the game off.
The Rams took the ball and made a 58-yard field goal with six seconds left in the game to make the score 27-20. Los Angeles attempted an onside kick that Jarvis Landry recovered to give New Orleans its fourth win of the season. The Saints are now 4-7, while the defending Super Bowl champions are a shell of their former formidable self at 3-7.
Below is a quarter-by-quarter recap of the action
- Saints win the toss and defer. Rams start at their 25-yard line and go three-and-out on a great stop by Paulson Adebo on a end-around run play.
- Saints return the punt to their 25-yard line but go three-and-out as well.
- Rams start at their 15-yard line, gain one first down and stall.
- Rashid Shaheed returns the punt as Saints start from their 41-yard line. Andy Dalton finds Juwan Johnson into Rams’ territory. Saints get into the red zone on runs by Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara. Dalton is sacked on second down and Taysom Hill is sacked on third down. Saints kick a field goal and Wil Lutz makes a 46-yard attempt.
- NO: 3 - LAR: 0
- Rams return the kickoff to their 38-yard line and on the first play, Matthew Stafford finds Tutu Atwell for a 62-yard touchdown.
- NO: 3 - LAR: 7
- Saints start at their 25-yard line, they gain a first down and stall and punt.
- Rams are pinned at their 3-yard line and Rams go three-and-out.
- Saints take over near midfield and gain a first down as the quarter ends
- Saints gain another first down on a run by Taysom Hill, then a pass to Alvin Kamara takes New Orleans into the red zone. Dalton finds Juwan Johnson for a touchdown.
- NO: 10 - LAR: 7
- Rams start at their 25-yard line. Rams face a 4th-and-inches near midfield and go for it. Cam Akers gains 13 yards on the play into Saints’ territory. Los Angeles goes for another 4th down at the Saints’ 36-yard line and are stuffed.
- Saints take over at their 36-yard line but go three-and-out and punt.
- Rams start at their 13-yard line and face a 3rd-and-1 at the two-minute warning. Stafford finds Allen Robinson for a first down and then Van Jefferson into Saints’ territory. Stafford finds Allen Robinson for a touchdown.
- NO: 10 - LAR: 14
- Saints kneel and go into halftime trailing 14-10.
- Saints begin at their 25-yard line. Dalton finds Chris Olave for 17 yards through the air on the first play. Saints get into the red zone on a swing pass to Alvin Kamara. Saints get into the red zone and Dalton finds Jarvis Landry for a touchdown, the first as a Saint for Landry.
- NO: 17: LAR: 14
- Rams start at their 25-yard line and on third down Stafford is sacked by Demario Davis. Rams punt.
- Saints begin at their 32-yard line and get to midfield on two plays by Taysom Hill. Dalton is then sacked on a Philly Special play. On third down, Andy Dalton finds Chris Olave for a 52-yard touchdown.
- NO: 24 - LAR: 14
- Rams begin at their 25-yard line and are now quarterbacked by Bryce Perkins as Stafford was hurt on the sack by Demario Davis. Rams just run the ball and get into Saints’ territory using run-pass option plays and the traditional running game. Rams get into the red zone as the quarter ends.
- Rams eventually stall in the red zone and settle for a Matt Gay 33-yard field goal.
- NO: 24 - LAR: 17
- Saints begin at their 25-yard line and Taysom Hill gains 11 yards. Dalton finds David Johnson for another first down. Taysom Hill then finds Olave into Rams’ territory. A facemaks penalty on Aaron Donald puts the Saints inside the red zone. On 2nd-and-goal, Dalton is sacked by Leonard Floyd. Saints stall and settle for a field goal. Wil Lutz makes a 25-yard field goal.
- NO: 27 - LAR: 17
- Rams begin at their 25-yard line and Perkins completes two passes to bring Los Angeles near midfield. Rams eventually stall and are forced to punt.
- Saints start from their 8-yard line and fall short on 4th-and-1 and have to punt.
- Rams begin at their 22-yard line and on second down, Carl Granderson sacks Bryce Perkins. On third down, Kaden Elliss and Tanoh Kpassagnon sack Perkins again, forcing the Rams to punt at the two-minute warning.
- Saints return the punt to midfield and run the ball, forcing the Rams to take two of their timeouts. On third down, Dalton attempts a deep pass that falls incomplete and are forced to punt.
- Rams take over at their 22-yard line and basically concede the game after another sack by Kaden Elliss, running the ball and bleeding down the clock. Perkins finds Tyler Higbee on a pass to midfield with 28 seconds to go. With 11 seconds to go, the Rams go for a 58-yard field goal, that Matt Gay converts, as the Rams are going for an onside kick on the kickoff.
- NO: 27 - LAR: 20
- Rams try and onside kick with six seconds to go and Jarvis Landry recovers.
- Saints win the game 27-20.
Does this win give you hope for the Saints’ 2022 season?
This poll is closed
Yes, like the poet said: anything is possible!!!
No, win two in a row first then we’ll talk
Nope, they are just delaying the inevitable
Yes, Dennis Allen and staff need more time
I hope they bring back the quadruple cheese bacon cheeseburger