It was tough sledding all night for the New Orleans Saints as the Miami Dolphins get the 20-3 victory. Neither team put up a ton of offense, but the Dolphins dialed up a ton of pressure and rattled rookie quarterback Ian Book in his first real game action the whole game.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Miami Dolphins started the game off with the ball but stalled out and punted the ball off to the Saints after picking up one first down. Rookie quarterback Ian Book’s first drive didn’t go as hoped as the pass on third down was behind wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey, after linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel deflected the ball, and intercepted by Nik Needham that was returned for a touchdown to give the Dolphins the early 7-0 lead.
The New Orleans offense went back on the field, but Book was sacked by Christian Wilkins and Emmanuel Ogbah on third down and had to give the ball to the Dolphins.
Tua Tagovailoa took his unit methodically down the field, picking up four total first downs in the drive. Miami drained over six minutes off of 12 plays, but Marcus Davenport strip sacked Tua on third down and forced a field goal attempt. The Dolphins only managed to only gain 39 yards on the drive but made it a two score game after the 48 yard kick.
Saints head coach, Sean Payton saw more of the same from his offense with their third drive to start the game and end after three plays with Book getting sacked again on third-and-long. The defense of the black and gold held their own and forced a punt following a Cam Jordan sack on backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett on 3rd & 1.
New Orleans got a little spark with Book’s completed pass to Marquez Callaway for 17 yards. Humphrey then got involved with an eight yard catch to set up a second-and-short. Running back Alvin Kamara was stuffed for a loss of yardage and Book failed to put up the first down as Miami regained possession.
Following the phins drive that came to a halt, the Saints got a progressive drive together with solid runs by Kamara and Mark Ingram and Book connected on both of his passes. Kicker Brett Maher made a 38 yard field goal to cut the Saints deficit to seven after the offense took a delay of game trying to draw the defense offsides.
Miami bled the rest of the first half clock and got within field goal range. Jordan on third down got his second sack of the first half and saved three points as Jason Sanders’ kick was wide right.
New Orleans couldn’t do anything with their first second half possession, but the Saints defense forced a bad overthrow by Tua and Marshon Lattimore intercepted the ball and gave his team’s offense good field position. The Saints didn’t do much with the takeaway and punted the ball right back after Book was sacked twice on the drive.
Tua led a big drive starting at their own 14 yard line and completed a big 40 yard pass to Mack Hollins on third-and-long. Next, hit on the flea-flicker to Jaylen Waddle for 24 more yards with Duke Johnson getting a 10 yard rush right after. The drive came to a close with a tricky one yard touchdown catch by Waddle to give the Dolphins a two touchdown lead with 5:10 left in the third quarter.
Neither team could put any point on the board their next few possessions. Miami got a short field after New Orleans couldn’t convert on their fourth down try. They didn’t get much yard wise, but extended their lead to 20-3 with 12:09 to go in the game.
Book did the Black and Gold no favors, giving up three sacks the next drive and brought on the Blake Gillikin for the seventh time of the game. The defense of the Saints stood tall again and got the ball back to the offense, but the punt was downed at the New Orleans one yard line.
On 2nd & 8, Book completed a jump ball to Humphrey who broke free for a big 57 yard catch. The Saints couldn’t come up with any points as Book was picked off for the second time.
The phins took the clock down as much as they could and ultimately defeated the Saints 20-3 on Monday night football for their seventh straight win.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jaylen Waddle
Waddle was given the ball a ton Monday night and scored the lone offensive touchdown between each team. He ended the night with 10 catches, 92 yards to help get his team the win.
BIG NUMBER: 8
Rookie Ian Book was sacked eight times as the Saints offense struggled to get any sort of a rhythm going all game.
NEXT UP: vs Carolina Sunday, January 2nd; kickoff at 3:25