Patriots Stun Saints In Heartbreaker
The New Orleans Saints were a first down away from entering their bye week at 6-0, but the New England Patriots had other ideas Sunday afternoon in Foxborough.
With the game hanging in the balance, the final few minutes of Sunday's matchup was crammed with plenty of drama.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees hit rookie wide receiver Kenny Stills in the end zone for a 34 yard touchdown on a 3rd and 20, giving New Orleans a 24-23 lead with 3:29 left in regulation.
On the ensuing series, New England turned it over on downs after 4 plays. Two first downs could have ended the game, but the Saints could only muster a few yards, settling for a 39 yard field goal by Garrett Hartley.
Patriot quarterback Tom Brady threw an interception on the first play of the next drive, a ball that Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis reeled in with 2:33 left in the 4th quarter. The Patriots had 1 timeout remaining, and the 2 minute warning. Once again, the Saints could have ended the game with a single first down, and once again, they couldn't do it. New Orleans was forced to punt to New England, who took over at their own 30, with no timeouts, and only 1:13 remaining.
Brady, who had struggled in the second half, orchestrated a quick, 8 play, 70 yard scoring drive, one that involved a fourth down conversion, and a game-winning 17 yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins with only 5 seconds left, sealing the Pats 30-27 victory.
Saints cornerback Jabari Greer was covering Thompkins on the play, missing a pass defensed by only inches.
"That's something that you'll replay in your mind for a long time," Greer said to the press after the loss. "We fought hard, we're resilient, and it happens like that. For it to happen to me, I'll just have to bear the burden for this week."
For two weeks, as the Saints enter their bye. Despite the stunning loss, New Orleans is still in good position in the NFC, tied with the Seattle Seahawks for the best record in conference at 5-1.
After a week off, the Saints return to New Orleans Sunday, October 27th, for a matchup with the Buffalo Bills (2-4).