Welcome everyone to the latest edition of #4Downs where I break down what went right and what went wrong for the New Orleans Saints! This week, I look at the Saints big overtime win over the Washington Redskins.
1st Down: Laces In Lutz
For the most part, when you see a kicker going for field goals, the holder will put the ball with the laces facing out (obligatory “laces out Finkel” reference). Depending who you talk to, it doesn’t really matter about which way the football facing.
Don’t tell Wil Lutz about it not mattering after Sunday’s win over Washington. The second-year player out of Georgia State largely kicked with the laces in and that gamble paid off as he went 4-for-4 in the victory. Lutz is starting to get into a groove after an up-and-down rookie season.
2nd Down: Big Breaks Key to Victory
The Saints got quite a bit of big breaks in the win and that wound up being the key reason why the Saints were able to get right back into the ballgame. Just look at the end of each half for Washington and you can see it was a bad day for Cousins and crew.
The Redskins seemed poised to kick a long field goal, but a false start penalty put it just out of Rose’s range, forcing the Saints to punt. That punt wound being a touchback thanks to Holsey’s heels being on the goal line to give the Saints solid field position and enough time to kick a field goal.
Looking at the second half, the Redskins came close to winning the game in regulation, going down the field thanks to three straight short passes from Kirk Cousins to get them in ideal position for a field goal. However, Cousins wound up throwing it away with no wide receivers in sight which put them out of field goal range and gave the Saints another chance to get the win. The ball keeps bouncing the way of the Saints and helped them get their eighth straight win.
3rd Down: Strong Defense on Third Down
The Saints defense looked like the kind of defense that was out there during the first two weeks of the season when you just look at the basic box score with over 450 yards allowed and allowing 31 points in regulation. However, they were able to get it done when it matters the most: on third down.
The Redskins were a paltry 4-of-12 on third down and outside of a few blown coverages, the secondary did an admirable job rookie Marshon Lattimore rolled his ankle on the opening drive. That’s all you can ask from the Saints all things considered.
4th Down: Never Give Up
The Saints faced a lot of adversity on Sunday, but were able to overcome a 15-point deficit in the final five minutes to make it eight in a row. As mentioned earlier, it was helped by some big breaks like the intentional grounding call but it also shows that the team is bought in and has that never say die attitude that some of the past teams did in recent years.