Things looked bleak for the Saints heading into overtime Sunday night. First, Brandon Weeden led the Cowboys on a 90-plus yard two-minute drive to tie the game at 20. Then, rookie kicker Zack Hocker #doinked a chip shot FG to ensure overtime. It seemed New Orleans had had its opportunities -- and missed them.
Then, in an instant, the Saints had the win:
Drew Brees hit C.J. Spiller for a 80-yard touchdown pass, and the Saints had the sudden death win. In the NFL, the first team to score a TD gets the win, so the Cowboys never even got a chance to have the ball in the extra session. The pass was the 400th touchdown of Drew Brees' career.
The TD appears to be the result of a massive breakdown by the Cowboys. Look at No. 57, rookie linebacker Damien Wilson, sprinting as he realizes the guy he's supposed to be guarding is turning upfield.
Wilson, a fourth-round pick out of Minnesota was playing due to an injury to Andrew Gachkar on the previous play. Gachkar himself had only been playing because of an injury earlier in the night to Sean Lee. So Wilson was suddenly in a weird place at a very important time. As this angle shows, there was widespread confusion among Dallas' linebackers about who was supposed to go where.
Perhaps Wilson was just confused about his assignment, perhaps he simply didn't locate the running back until after the ball was snapped. Perhaps he was just overawed by the majesty of the all-powerful wheel route. Either way, he recovers far too late, and by the time Wilson realizes what's going on, Spiller is turning upfield and looking for the catch.
Brees sensed Wilson's weakness and easily hits Spiller in open space, and from there, nobody was catching him. And in just 13 seconds, overtime was over -- the fastest ending to an OT in NFL regular season history.
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