Saints improve to 3-2 after win against Washington

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Matthew Tate

The highlight of the Black and Gold’s 33-22 victory over Washington was the Hail Mary reception that Marquez Callaway hauled in from Jameis Winston as time in the second half expired.

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

After a tough home loss at the hands of the New York Giants last week, the New Orleans Saints traveled to Landover, Maryland and took care of business against the Washington Football Team, winning 33-22. 

Jameis Winston had his best performance since the Saints’ season opener against the Green Bay Packers. Winston completed 15 of his 30 attempts for 279 yards, four touchdowns and one interception while collecting an additional 26 yards on the ground. The clear highlight of Winston’s day was a 49-yard Hail Mary that was caught in the end zone by receiver Marquez Callaway as time expired in the first half. Callaway finished the game with four receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints also had support on the ground, with four-time Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara rushing for 71 yards and scoring one touchdown on 16 carries. 

Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed 20 of his 41 passes, but he scored zero touchdowns and was picked off twice. Antonio Gibson led Washington in rushing with 20 carries for 60 yards — just three yards per carry — but also scored Washington’s only two touchdowns. 

Though they won handily, the Saints had a rough start very early in the ballgame as Winston was intercepted by Cole Holcomb on the game’s first drive leading to a quick Washington field goal. The Saints responded by scoring on a three-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a 72-yard touchdown pass from Winston to Deonte Harris. The Saints were unable to stop Washington from scoring on the proceeding drive, as they converted another field goal. On the ensuing drive, Winston was sacked by Washington’s Chase Young, who forced a fumble that was recovered by Daron Payne. Washington capitalized by scoring a touchdown less than a minute into the second quarter thanks to a five-yard Gibson run.  

New Orleans also opened the second quarter with a touchdown, as their 75-yard drive ended with a 23-yard touchdown run by Kamara. Unfortunately, the Saints experienced a tough blow during the drive as Taysom Hill was carted off the field and later ruled out of the game because of a concussion. The Saints defense was finally able to come up with a huge stop midway through the quarter, forcing Heinicke to throw a pass that was intercepted by rookie Paulson Adebo. The Saints were forced to punt after the interception, but the defense made another crucial stop — this time stopping Washington inside Saints territory on fourth down. New Orleans and Washington both punted on their next drives, and the half ended on a high note for the Saints as Winston’s Hail Mary found Callaway in the end zone for a touchdown just as the final seconds ticked off the clock. The Saints went back to the locker room at the break with a 20-13 lead.

Both New Orleans and Washington opened the second half by exchanging punts twice. Washington scored the only points of the third quarter, converting their third field goal of the game after a long 14-play drive. 

The Saints were forced to punt again in the beginning of the fourth, but the Black and Gold defense forced another Heinicke interception, this time by Patrick Williams deep inside of Washington territory. The Saints used their great field position to their advantage, scoring a touchdown on another connection between Winston and Callaway. Washington answered back by scoring on a one-yard rush, cutting the Saints’ lead to 27-22. However, the Saints pulled away from Washington a drive later with Kamara running for another score after a reception from Winston. The New Orleans defense secured the 33-22 win on Washington’s final drive of the game, forcing a turnover on downs near midfield. 

With the win, the Saints improved to 3-2 on the season and will have a week off to rest before traveling west to Seattle to face the Seahawks on Monday Night Football on Oct. 25. The matchup will be broadcasted on ESPN at 7:15 p.m. from Lumen Field. The 2-3 Seahawks play the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road on NBC’s Sunday Night Football before preparing to face the Saints.