Saints rally to beat Chargers in OT

Saints rally to beat Chargers in OT
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws a touchdown pass to tight end Jared Cook, not pictured, under pressure from Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Jerry Tillery (99) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) (Source: Butch Dill)

NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The New Orleans Saints (3-2) rallied from 17 points down to the Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) to get the win on Monday Night Football.

The Saints came away with the 30-27 victory in overtime.

A 36-yard field goal by Wil Lutz was the eventual game-winner for the Saints but it was a play by the secondary, which had struggled all game, that secured the victory. On fourth-and-six, Marshon Lattimore tackled Mike Williams one-yard short of the marker to end the contest.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees was 33-of-47 for 325 yards and one touchdown. He threw one interception and also rushed for a score. His go-to receiver was Emmanuel Sanders, who finished with 12 catches for 122 yards. It was his first 100-yard receiving game as a Saint.

Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert was 20-of-34 for 264 yards and four touchdowns. Three of those touchdowns were in the first half and the fourth was on a miscommunication by the Saints secondary. In the second half, the Saints' defensive lineman and linebackers got pressure on Herbert, sacking him three times and getting 12 hits on him.

On the Chargers’ second drive of the game, on a third and seven, the Saints got pressure on Herbert but he was able to break contain, roll right, and throw a dime to Keenan Allen for a 17-yard touchdown to cap a nine-play, 80-yard drive. Herbert showed off his ability to make accurate throws on the run, which was a strength many people talked about coming out of the draft. The extra point was no good to make it 6-0 with 6:26 left in the first quarter. Allen later left the game with a back injury and didn’t return.

A 48-yard field goal by Lutz made it 6-3 at the end of the first quarter and on a third-and-six, Cam Jordan and Trey Hendrickson sacked Herbert to force a punt but the Saints were called for roughing the kicker, giving the Chargers an automatic first down. They took full advantage of the opportunity to keep the drive going. Herbert connected with Jalen Guyton for a 49-yard gain to put the ball on the four-yard line. On the very next play, Herbert tossed the short touchdown pass to Mike Willams to make it 13-3 with 11:01 left in the second quarter.

Later, Saints special teams speedster Marquez Calloway had a 33-yard punt return but it was called back due to a holding penalty by J.T. Gray. The penalty resulted in a net loss of about 34 yards. Gray was penalized on three special teams plays but the first one was declined because it was the same play as the roughing the kicker. As a team, the Saints were flagged five times for 60 yards.

On third-and-four, Brees was intercepted by Nasir Adderley when the QB floated a pass over Bennie Fowler. Adderley returned the pick to the one-yard line. The Saints defense looked like it was going to make a stand because Sheldon Rankins got to Herbert and sacked him for an eight-yard loss. But two plays later, Herbert threw a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Hunter Henry to make it 20-3 with 4:25 left in the first half.

The Saints did not throw in the towel, though. They put together a great drive before the half, behind five-straight completions by Brees. He then performed one of his patented one-yard touchdown leaps, extending the ball across the goal line, to make it 20-10 at halftime.

Lutz drilled a 53-yard field goal to make it 20-13 with 4:52 left in the third quarter. Then, Brees connected with tight end Jared Cook for a 41-yard touchdown pass to tie it up, 20-20, with 11:21 left in the fourth quarter. It was Cook’s first catch of the game.

After both teams punted, Herbert found a wide open Mike Williams for a 64-yard touchdown to give the Chargers the 27-20 lead once again with 3:40 left. The Saints defense blew the coverage on what looked like a miscommunication between Patrick Robinson and P.J. Williams.

The Saints came right back and tied it, 27-27, on a nine-yard touchdown run by Taysom Hill with less than 1:00 left in the game. It was Hill’s first touchdown of the season.

The Chargers had a chance to win it in regulation. Herbert heaved a pass to Mike Williams with Lattimore and P.J. Williams in coverage and the big wide receiver went up and caught it for a 29-yard gain to give the Chargers the ball at the Saints' 32 with :08 left. On a 50-yard field goal try for the win, the kick by Michael Bagley hit the upright and it was no good.

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