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5 takeaways from the Saints boring 20-0 win over the Dolphins in London

New Orleans woke up in the second half of an ugly game.

NFL: International Series-New Orleans Saints at Miami Dolphins Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty, but the Saints escaped London with a win.

New Orleans outlasted Miami in a 20-0 slog at Wembley Stadium to kick off Week 4’s Sunday action. Drew Brees threw for a muted 268 yards as his offense failed to fall into gear in the first half. Both teams struggled to find the end zone early, as long drives petered out in front of a non-plussed British crowd before Brees and the Saints pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Jay Cutler, on the other hand, come out of the gates slinging the ball. He led the Dolphins to the red zone during the team's first drive, but he threw an interception to cornerback Ken Crawley in the end zone. That would be as close as Miami would get to scoring as the club fell to 1-2 on the season.

The win was an encouraging one for New Orleans, who recorded its first shutout since 2012 and just the team’s second since 1995. The Saints are now 2-2, which effectively hits the reset button on their playoff hopes.

Alvin Kamara is the Saints’ Swiss army knife

Even though the Saints have a crowded backfield that consists of Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara asserted his dominance in London. Kamara collected seven touches for 48 yards in the first half. He ran routes out of the backfield and lined up on the perimeter as a receiver, forcing the Dolphins to account for him each play. His shovel-pass touchdown with 3:56 left in the game iced the victory for his team.

Jay Cutler is the least convincing wide receiver ever

The Dolphins lined up in the Wildcat formation in the first half, hoping to catch the Saints off guard. One thing was clear — newly-minted wideout Cutler wouldn’t be getting the ball. Or running a route. Or generally moving his body at all.

Jay Ajayi’s return to London wasn’t the explosion for which he’d hoped

The Dolphins’ Pro Bowl tailback had the chance to play in his home town Sunday, and while he wasn’t able to spring for 200+ yards like he had in three different games last fall, he still put together a solid performance in limited duty. The London native, who was injured when Miami played in Wembley Stadium back in 2015, appeared frustrated at his reduced carries — after 28 touches two weeks ago, he’s had just 23 in his last two games combined. He had 12 carries for 48 yards Sunday.

On the plus side, he got to meet his childhood hero, Thierry Henry.

Adrian Peterson only got four carries, and probably deserved fewer

Peterson has made no bones about expressing his displeasure with how the Saints have used him in 2017. He won’t be happy Sunday afternoon after earning just four touches against the Dolphins. The former All-Pro was ineffective, gaining just four yards (one yard per carry). It’s clear he’s the third-most important tailback on his team’s roster, and Peterson may be coming to the end of a Hall-of-Fame career.

Jay Cutler has failed to reclaim his 2015 magic with Adam Gase

Cutler was brought out of moth balls to take over Miami’s starting quarterback position, but he’s failed to be a difference-maker in 2017. The veteran passer had enjoyed the most efficient season of his 12-year career with Gase, current Dolphins head coach, as his offensive coordinator. Now, despite the presence of his former OC and the strongest receiving corps he’s ever worked with, Cutler is sputtering.

He threw for just 163 yards, was sacked four times, and ruined his team’s best scoring opportunity by throwing an end zone interception in the first quarter. After losing to the Jets in Week 3, the Dolphins appear lost on the field. Unless a drastic change is made, Miami is going to fail to repeat 2016’s playoff appearance.