New Orleans Saints rally late, beat Washington Redskins in OT

By Peter Finney Jr., The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 19, 2017 at 6:03 PM
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NEW ORLEANS -- Wil Lutz kicked a 28-yard field goal in overtime, climaxing a furious fourth-quarter rally from a 15-point deficit with 5:58 remaining, to lift the New Orleans Saints to their eighth consecutive victory, 34-31, over the Washington Redskins Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints (8-2) trailed 31-16 when Kirk Cousins completed a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle.

But Drew Brees led back-to-back touchdown drives of 75 and 83 yards, throwing 3 yards to tight end Josh Hill and 18 yards to rookie running back Alvin Kamara for touchdowns to draw the Saints within 31-29 with 1:05 left.

Kamara then converted the tying 2-point conversion by taking a pitch around left end.

In the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, the Redskins moved the ball to a first down at the New Orleans 34 -- within range of a potential game-winning field goal -- but Cousins was flagged for intentional grounding on first down, moving the Redskins out of field-goal range.

Cousins completed 22-of-32 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns. He showed plenty of toughness after he was hit hard on a third-down scramble by safety Vonn Bell midway through the third quarter. He went on to cap a 94-yard drive with a 40-yard pass to Ryan Grant and added the scoring pass to Sprinkle.

Cousins also had a 16-yard touchdown pass to running back Chris Thompson in the first half.

The Redskins pulled off a huge gamble in the third quarter and converted it into a touchdown for a 24-13 lead. Faced with a fourth-and-1 from their own 15, tight end Niles Paul, a blocker lined up 5 yards behind center, took the shotgun snap and ran straight ahead for a 5-yard gain and the first down.

Cousins got the touchdown by standing tall against the blitz and throwing a 40-yard strike to Grant, who was 20 yards behind the Saints' secondary on a blown coverage.

The Saints cut the deficit to 24-16 on Lutz's 42-yard field goal with 9:19 left, a drive that was set up by Tommylee Lewis' 24-yard punt return to the New Orleans 49.

In the first half, the Redskins defense put more pressure on Brees than he had faced all year, hitting him eight times and forcing him into several check-down throws. Brees was 12 of 22 for 154 yards in the half, but his interception on the Saints' first series resulted in a Redskins field goal, a 38-yarder by Nick Rose.

The Saints tied it on a 52-yard field goal by Lutz, but Washington came right back to regain the lead, 10-3, on Cousins' third-down pass to Thompson.

The Saints tied the game at 10 on the next series, moving 80 yards in four plays and capping the drive with a 36-yard run off right tackle by Mark Ingram II. The series was kept alive when linebacker Preston Smith hit Brees in the helmet on a third-and-4 incompletion.

NOTES: The Saints lost rookie CB Marshon Lattimore in the first quarter with a left ankle injury after he broke up a pass in the end zone. ... The Redskins suffered injuries to S Montae Nicholson (concussion protocol) and LG Shawn Lauvo (stinger). ... Redskins RB Chris Thompson was carted off the field with an injury to his lower right leg.

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