SportsFootballSaints lose in overtime during return to Superdome

Saints lose in overtime during return to Superdome

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The New Orleans Saints (2-2) blew a double-digit fourth-quarter lead en route to a 27-21 overtime and lost, at home, to the previously winless New York Giants (1-3). 

Placekicker Graham Gano kicked the game-tying 48-yard field goal with 31 seconds remaining in regulation. The Giants received the ball first in overtime and gave the Saints zero opportunity to touch it. By the ninth play of the Giants’ drive, running back Saquon Barkley took the handoff on a draw play to the endzone to seal the victory for New York.  

“Obviously, it’s a tough game to lose. But give credit to New York. They hung in there,” said Head Coach Sean Payton in a press conference. “Certainly, we didn’t feel like we came into this game [believing] that we were seeing an 0-3 team. Anytime that you have a game that goes into overtime when you lead for most of the game and you lose, it’s frustrating.”  

Neither team scored on its first three possessions. The Saints reached the end zone on all three of its opening possessions, but ended up with zero points. The second drive ended with a turnover on downs as running back Alvin Kamara came up half a yard short on a fourth down. The third Saints possession resulted in a missed 58-yard field goal by placekicker Aldrick Rosas, his third miss of the season. 

“At some point, we have to be able to kick a field goal. In hindsight, I would have punted. I felt that way after he missed it. The next play, they scored a touchdown,” Payton said, reflecting on the call.  

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones hit wide receiver John Ross for a 52-yard touchdown on the next play, ending the scoreless tie. On their next possession, however, the Saints embarked on a 13 play 75-yard drive ending with Juwan Johnson’s 15 yard touchdown reception. The score at halftime was 7-7.  

The Saints received the second half kickoff, and they wasted no time pushing the ball down the field. Quarterback Jameis Winston connected with wide receiver Marquez Callaway for a 58 yard rush to the Giants’ 17-yard line. Two plays later, Taysom Hill bulldozed through defenders for an eight-yard touchdown run.   

Callaway would finish with only two catches, including his 58-yard reception. He has nine receptions on the season, which is the third most on the team. 

“Our time will come,” Callaway told reporters as they asked how he can get more opportunities. “Coach [Payton] calls the plays, and Jameis [Winston] back there has a million things going through his mind, so we play to him. We run our routes and get open, and that’s all we can control.” 

With 12:09 remaining in the fourth quarter, Hill would again have an eight-yard rushing touchdown, giving the Saints a 21-10 lead. However, this would end the offensive successes of the Saints for the rest of the game. They would gain a measly 46 yards over their final three possessions.  

The Giants succeeded on their second one-play drive of the game as Jones passed to Barkley, who ran 54 yards for the touchdown. Jones then rushed for the two-point conversion to make the game 21-18 with 6:52 left. As stated in the beginning, the Giants would later connect on the game-tying field goal in regulation and the game-winning touchdown in overtime.  

After the game, Safety Malcolm Jenkins was heartbroken over the loss.

“Yeah, I mean, this is the NFL. You let any team stick around for too long, give them hope, make a play here or there like they get paid to do[, and] next thing you know, it’s a game,” said Jenkins  

Linebacker Demario Davis also spoke about how much the loss stung, considering it was the team’s return to the Caesars Superdome after being misplaced by Hurricane Ida. 

“We certainly understand the platform that we have and how the team and city are one,” said Davis. “When we win, we all win. When we lose, we all lose. […]  Indeed, we had hoped to come into the arena for the first time and get that win, to have an excellent record, because playing at home is essential to us.”

The Saints will next travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Football Team (2-2) at noon on CBS. 

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