The New Orleans Saints looked toast down 15 late in the fourth quarter, but Drew Brees orchestrated two touchdown drives in the final minutes to lead the team back against Washington and get a 34-31 win in overtime.
By the end of the game, there were 991 total yards between the two offenses — the most for any game so far during the 2017 season. It was a surprising amount given up by a Saints defense that was dominant over the last month.
We haven’t seen a comeback like that in over six years.
With the win, the Saints improved to 8-2 and stayed ahead in the competitive NFC South and near the top of the jockeying for position in the conference. Washington fell to 4-6 and will need a miraculous run to salvage a frustrating season.
Here’s how the thrilling victory for the Saints went down:
Washington was cruising to a huge win
It was a big day for Kirk Cousins, and it looked like he hammered the final nail in the Saints’ coffin when he led a six-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. The score gave Washington a 31-16 lead with less than six minutes to play.
Prior to the end of the game, the Washington defense was holding the usually potent Saints offense in check. Brees had no touchdowns and an interception, and New Orleans turned to kicker Wil Lutz for three field goals.
The Saints came to life
With the pressure on, Brees did what he does. First it was an eight-play, 75-yard drive that finished with a 3-yard touchdown to Josh Hill. Then, after forcing a quick punt after three consecutive Samaje Perine runs, Brees led the Saints down the field on a four-play, 87-yard drive.
After an illegal use of hands penalty negated an interception on the first play of that drive, the next four plays went as follows:
- Brees to Mike Thomas for 17 yards
- Brees to Ted Ginn for 18 yards
- Brees to Coby Fleener for 29 yards
- Brees to Alvin Kamara for an 18-yard touchdown
After a successful two-point conversion tied the game up, the Saints’ defense was forced to stop Washington from scoring with about a minute to work with.
New Orleans finally got big defensive plays and iced it
Washington immediately responded to the game-tying touchdown by driving into New Orleans territory. An ill-timed intentional grounding on a miscommunication between Cousins and his receivers backed up the offense, but the Saints got to overtime thanks to a huge sack in the final seconds that forced a fumble and ran out the rest of the clock.
Then in overtime, Washington got the ball first, and the Saints defense came up huge again when Cameron Jordan got a sack.
With all the momentum on the side of New Orleans, it fed Mark Ingram who ran through an exhausted Washington defense for 20 yards and 31 yards on consecutive plays. It set up Lutz for a 28-yard game winner and an incredible win for the Saints.