Lions Saints Game
January 8, 2012 by staff
Lions Saints Game, Although the final score might not reflect it, there were awfully tense moments in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday night before the Saints ultimately cruised to victory.
Two of those moments came when the Saints went for it on fourth down — one of them on fourth-and-inches from their 38-yard line, when they were leading just 17-14 in the third quarter.
It was a bold move, especially because the Saints were risking the momentum they finally started to build. But as we know, Coach Sean Payton is an awfully bold coach.
It brought to mind the similar decision made by Atlanta Falcons Coach Mike Smith against the Saints in overtime earlier this season. The biggest difference this time was that the Saints made a more effective play call — a dive by quarterback Drew Brees on a quick snap.
Three plays later, Brees hit receiver Marques Colston with a 40-yard pass down the right sideline. Then, on the next play, he threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham for a 24-14 lead.
“It’s just a gut that goes with it,” Payton said. “It’s just a matter of really getting to a play we felt comfortable with and the willingness to take some risks. It’s a sign of confidence we have in our line, our runners and QB and everyone else.”
The Saints again went for it on fourth-and-2 from the Lions’ 40 when they were leading 24-21 in the fourth quarter. This time, Brees pitched left to tailback Darren Sproles, who squirted free behind some blocks by his receivers and left tackle Jermon Bushrod for a 3-yard gain. Four plays later, Sproles broke free again for a 17-yard touchdown run and a 31-21 lead.
Earlier in the game, the Saints also converted a fourth-and-1 that led to a field goal.
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