New Orleans Saints bounced back after shaky first half
By Michael Byrd
From the start of the Week 5 matchup against Washington, it looked like the New Orleans Saints were taking steps in the wrong direction.
Early in the first quarter the turnover bug would jump up a bite Saints quarterback Jameis Winston as he would be intercepted on the game’s opening drive and later in the same quarter he was sacked and that led to a fumble.
On the next drive after the interception, Winston began to settle down and like he’s been showing Who Dats this season his deep ball is for real. Two plays into the second drive he launched a deep bomb to wide receiver Deonte Harris that accounted for 72 yard touchdown that would put the Black and Gold up 7-3.
After Winston’s second turnover of the day, the Washington football team took advantage of roughing the kicker penalty by Carl Granderson, which put Washington in position to go up 13-7 at the start of the second quarter.
On New Orleans’ next possession, the offense got to work on offense mounting a five-play scoring drive that was extended on a costly penalty by the Football Team that saw jack of all trades Taysom Hill leave the game with a concussion.
The six-play 75-yard drive was capped off by All-Pro running back Alvin Kamara bursting through Washington’s defensive line for a 23 yard touchdown scamper to tie the game at 13 all.
Throughout the second quarter both teams traded possessions as both defenses gave one another fits. Late in the second quarter rookie cornerback Paulson Adebo ended Washington’s scoring drive picking off Taylor Heinicke in the red zone.
After another series of possession changes, Winston put up a 49-yard Hail Mary pass that would find his go to target Marquez Callaway to put New Orleans up 20-13 going into half.
The second half was when the Saints’ defense made its presence felt.
All-Pro cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who’s been playing lights out so far this season, was locked into a head-to-head matchup with an old college teammate in Washington reciever Terry McLaurin. Lattimore blanketed McLaurin all game with six defensive pass breakups forcing Heinicke to find work elsewhere leading to his second interception of the game by cornerback P.J. Williams.
The Saints secondary played solid football all game and really made it tough for Heinicke to complete passes.
In addition, the Saints’ front end continued to be a force to be reckon with led by anchor Demario Davis. The defensive front applied consistent pressure on Heinicke that allowed the secondary to flourish and make plays all game. Davis came up with a huge late game sack late in the fourth quarter that gave the Saints offense an opportunity to secure the game.
This game was a defining moment for Winston because, with a little over seven minutes remaining, he managed the game quite well while adding two more scores finding Callaway and Kamara to secure the win.
Winston finished the game going 15-for-30 for 279 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception showing the Who Dat Nation that he can manage games in crucial moments of games and “eat” W’s.
Kamara also came up big in this win with 122 all purpose yards and two scores.
But perhaps the games MVP of the game came from special teams. Punter Blake Gillikin punted five times for 268 yards with a 53.6 yard average pinning Washington inside their own 20-yard line three times making them have to drive the length of the field in crucial possession to score.
Overall this win was tremendous because it gave the Saints a much needed confidence boost going into the BYE week as they look forward to getting some guys back from injuries and most notably getting defensive tackle David Onyemata back off his six-game suspension.
Look for the black and gold to come back strong after the BYE week.