Saints Come From Behind In Second Half; Overcome 24-3 Defecit To Win 46-34 Over The Miami Dolphins
Finally New Orleans faced a little adversity this season by having to do something they have yet to do, play from behind.
The unbeaten Saints fell behind early in the first quarter for the first time this season and seemed totally outmatched by the Dolphins defense as they sank into a huge 24-3 hole.
The Dolphins came off their bye week prepared to take the Saints down and through the first half they genuinely outplayed the Saints.
Pressure killed New Orleans chances during the first two quarters as Miami lit up the Saints offensive line allowing three sacks on Brees in the first half alone.
Miami held the Saints to 112 total yards, forced one fumble and picked of two passes — All of which they turned into points.
Miami took advantage of the Saints costly mistakes scoring from the wildcat from 4 yards out after Brees’ first interception, courtesy of Ricky Williams.
Williams followed that up with a 63 yard touchdown run after a Saints field goal. Miami continued to harass the Saints offense forcing a punt which they followed by a field goal.
The next Saint possession was, like most in the first half, a failure and again Brees was picked off by Reggie Torbor as he threw for Lance Moore.
Miami took over at the 19 yard line and once again used the wildcat to produce a touchdown when Ronnie Brown scampered the eight yards needed to make the score 24-3.
However after the two teams exchanged a few three and outs New Orleans managed to force a fumble and recover on their own 49 yard line.
Eight plays later the Saints were at the Miami one yard line with two seconds left in the half as they finally managed to put together an offensive drive.
In a stroke of luck Miami called a time out as the Saints were lining up for a field goal. The extra time gave Drew Brees enough time to convince Payton they should go ahead for the touchdown.
The offense took the field again in hopes of making a push and on the first and one play Brees took the snap on a quarterback sneak, plunging into the end zone to make the score 24-10 before halftime.
New Orleans finally had some life, and momentum, heading into the third quarter but the real story happened in the next two.
The Second Half
New Orleans came out with renewed focus and determination to win the game, no longer would the Dolphins dominate.
Miami opened up the third quarter on their own 17, the Saints held strong holding the Dolphins to a one yard loss.
Facing a third and eleven the Dolphins opted to throw a pass deep left for receiver Ted Ginn Jr., the issue with that was he was being blanketed by Tracy Porter and Darren Sharper.
Porter deflected the pass into the air and bobbled the ball a few times. Sharper running into the play grab the bobbled ball from the air and raced down the sideline 42 yards for the touchdown.
Miami threw a challenge flag as it appeared Sharper fumbled as he was crossing into the end zone, the play was upheld (Sharper was awarded his third interception for a TD this season) and the Saints tightened up the score 24-17.
After Miami went three and out the Saints took over possession at their own 35, they were able to move the ball 36 yards to the Miami 26 yard line. On a third and eleven Brees threw for Colston in the end zone, who appeared to make the catch, but corner Nate Jones ripped the ball from Colston’s grasp to net Miami’s third and final interception.
The Saints held firm once again to force another three and out and a Dolphins punt. New Orleans started deep in it’s own territory once again, an incomplete pass, a sack and then a strip sack returned the ball to Miami at the 15 yard line.
Defense flexed once more as the Saints held the Dolphins out of the end zone, they settled for a field goal to make the score 27-17.
New Orleans would get the ball to start it’s next offensive drive at the 18 yard line. The fist play from scrimmage saw running back Mike Bell bust a 35 yard run right through the middle to the 47.
A mix of run and pass brought the Saints into the red zone ten yards away from a badly needed score. Brees dropped back on third and eight and delivered a strike to Colston in the corner of the end zone, 27-24, the Saints are moving now.
Unfortunately the Saints defense lapsed momentarily on the Dolphins next offensive possession and on a second and ten Miami QB Chad Henne hit receiver Hartline for a 67 yard gain before he was dragged down by CB Jabari Greer.
Once again the wildcat produced another touchdown on a four yard touchdown run from Ricky Williams. Miami went back up ten points 34-24 with the third quarter coming to a close.
The opening play of the fourth quarter was a big one, Brees connected with Shockey for a 66 yard catch and run play that put the Saints into scoring position at the Miami 13 yard line.
Mike Bell would run up the middle for a three yard gain to the ten yard line which setup perhaps one of running back Reggie Bush’s best plays as a pro. At the ten yard line the Saints ran the long forgotten double reverse, Bush ran around the left side and leaped six yards through the air for the touchdown to bring the Saints within three points once more 34-31.
Miami would only be able to move the ball for 55 yards on four possesions during the fourth quarter and simply could not keep pace with a potent Saints offensive attack managing only two punts, one interception and a stalled drive to end the game.
New Orleans meanwhile would score on its next two possession traveling 60 yards on the lead taking drive, Brees again snuck in a touchdown from two yards out to put the Saints ahead 34-37 for their first lead of the day.
On the next possession the Saints would go 64 yards down to the Miami two yard line before being held to only a field goal, a chip shot twenty yard-er from John Carney to make the score 34-40.
The “nail in the coffin” would come on the eighth play of a 21 yard drive Miami was putting together, pressure off the edge force Henne into a bad throw and he floated a pass in the direction of receiver Greg Camarillo.
Tracy Porter however ended up with the pass and raced 52 yards for the Saints second defensive touchdown and an insurmountable two possession lead at 46-34.
Put a fork in the Phins as the fat lady just sang, and danced an Irish jig.
Miami would make one last push down the field for what would have been a useless TD had they been able to score. Several dropped passes and penalties later the Dolphins watched the clock tick away along with any hopes they might have had about beating the New Orleans Saints.
After being held to a mere 10 points and 112 first half yards the Saints literally exploded on both sides of the ball in the second half stopping most all of the Dolphins offensive possessions while outscoring them 36 to 10, including 22 straight unanswered fourth quarter points.
Yardage wise the Saints accumulated 302 total yards in the second half and finished the game with 414 total net yards. New Orleans was able to score 46 points which marks a new NFL record for a franchise as the Saints have topped 45 points a game in 4 of 6 games this season, the first time in NFL history that has happened.
New Orleans improves to 6-0 this season which places them at the top of the NFC and solidly first in their NFC South division. They are now the only unbeaten team in the NFC and one of three unbeaten teams in the NFL (Colts, Broncos).
If you would like the complete stats to the Saints @ Dolphins game follow this linkto the game center on NFL.com or this link to view the game book. Please stop by phinphanatic.com to read the Miami Dolphins side of the story at this link.
Check out the video below of Reggie’s sick leaping touchdown that helped the Saints close the gap on Miami.
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