The Saints had not beaten Denver in Denver since Christmas Eve of 1994, and that was one of only two wins the Saints had against Denver in team history, 11 meetings.
Denver came into this game handcuffed. One of their quarterbacks tested positive for COVID-19, and the other three QBs had not only been in proximity to him but had done so while not wearing masks or their contact tracing devices.
So the NFL required all of their QB’s to miss the game, and – likely in a fit of frustration with Denver – declined to move the game to another date.
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The Saints from that point obviously had the upper hand, and it was just a matter of playing the game out. Denver was scrappy early on, starting at QB a rookie who hadn’t played QB since his earlier college years.
He didn’t play the first series as they tried to go completely wildcat against the Saints.
But the Saints haven’t earned the reputation as a great run-stuffing defense for nothing and Denver really had no other option but to try and run.
Even rushing the ball 33 times and having nothing to do but run, Denver still only got 100 yards rushing. It was only the third time this season a team has gotten triple digits rushing on the Saints defense.
After a sluggish start, the Saints offense got going in the second quarter. Latavius Murray finally got some totes and rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Hill did not have a strong day passing, but the Saints really weren’t looking to throw the ball a lot.
There was no need to try and go vertical against the Broncos. In fact, eating the clock was the way to take this game. Take the ball, run it down their throats, and keep the clock moving. And that’s the tack the Saints took.
They played their typical great defense and did enough offensively to win.