Saints Defense Dominates in 28-13 Victory Against Patriots
The New Orleans Saints defense had a strong performance in their 28-13 victory on the road against the New England Patriots and rookie quarterback Mac Jones.
With the win, the Saints improved to 2-1 on the season. The Patriots dropped to 1-2.
From the start of the game, the New Orleans defense brought pressure on the Patriots rookie play-caller, forcing three straight three-and-out punts and blocking a punt on New England's fourth drive.
Even with this excellent start defensively, the Saints offense could not take command of the game early.
After accounting for only 30 total offensive yards in the Saints week two blowout loss in Carolina, star running back Alvin Kamara was a huge part of the game plan on New Orleans' opening drive. He accounting for 32 total yards and an 11-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jameis Winston to put the Saints up 7-0.
The Saints offense put together another good possession in the first quarter, but their 10-play, 52-yard drive ended in a missed 52-yard field goal by kicker Aldrick Rosas, and the Saints failed to stretch their lead to two possessions.
Following the blocked punt, Rosas missed another field goal, this time from 36 yards out. New Orleans, who had dominated the first half, still held a slight seven-point lead.
On the next Patriots possession, the Saints defense came up with their first turnover of the day. The New Orleans defensive line forced pressure on Jones who threw the first interception of his young career.
Williams returned the interception 46 yards to set up first and goal for Winston and the Saints offense. On third-and-goal, New Orleans finally broke through for their second score of the day on Winston's seven-yard touchdown connection with wide receiver Marquez Callaway. The catch was Callaway's first NFL touchdown reception in a regular season game.
The Patriots broke their scoreless first half with a field goal right before halftime, but on the first play of the third quarter, Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins took advantage of a bobble by Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith to come up with the second New Orleans interception of the day. He took this one back 34 yards for a pick-six to make it 21-3 in favor of the Saints.
Winston and the New Orleans offense struggled in the second half. Unable to move the ball, the New England defense forced three straight quick punts. A long field goal drive that lasted over nine minutes in the third quarter and a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that took a minute brought the Patriots back within one possession at 21-13 with nine minutes left in the game.
The Saints offense finally responded with a terrific 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that effectively sealed the game. It was capped off with a four-yard touchdown rush by backup quarterback Taysom Hill. The score made it 28-13, giving New Orleans a two-possession lead late in the contest.
On the final drive, the Saints defense came away with their third interception of the day, this time coming from cornerback Marshon Lattimore. New Orleans ran the clock out with a kneel and picked up their second win of the 2021 season.
The offense was not explosive for the Saints in this game, but the stout defense and turnovers allowed New Orleans to improve to 2-1 in 2021.
Winston completed 13 of his 21 passing attempts for 128 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Kamara had 89 rushing yards on 24 carries and added 29 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. The Saints as a team ran the ball 38 times for 142 yards against New England.
The Saints defense did an excellent job of stopping the Patriots rushing attack to put more pressure on their rookie quarterback. Jones was New England's leading rusher with 28 yards on six carries. Everyone else combined for only 21 yards on 11 rushing attempts.
Up next, the Saints come home to the Caesar's Superdome for their first true home game of the 2021 season against the New York Giants on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 12:00 p.m. The Giants fell to 0-3 this season after losing to the Atlanta Falcons 17-14 in week three.