Saints Break Their Losing Streak With 30-9 Win Against The Jets
The New Orleans Saints used excellent performances by their defense and star running back Alvin Kamara to break their five-game losing streak and take down the New York Jets 30-9.
For the first time since week eight against Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Halloween, New Orleans is back in the win column. The Saints improved to 6-7 to stay in a cluttered NFC playoff race.
The Jets offense wasn't able to get anything going against the Saints defense in the first quarter. They had three drives that each ended in a punt after three plays in the opening frame, finishing the quarter with only 16 total yards on nine plays.
Quarterback Taysom Hill and the New Orleans offense scored on their first possession, but it wasn't easy. After converting both a third and forth down, the Saints drove into the red zone. In their goal-to-go situation, they gave Kamara the ball three times in a row, but he couldn't score. Kicker Brett Maher made a 23-yard field goal to give the Saints an early 3-0 lead.
However, while the New Orleans defense was silencing the Jets offense, Hill took two sacks that ruined two drives. By the end of the first quarter, the Saints held a slight 3-0 lead.
The Jets doubled their plays from the first quarter on their first drive of the second quarter. A nine-play, 38-yard drive where New York converted a fourth down ended with a game-tying 36-yard field goal.
Both teams traded three-and-out possessions that ended in punts before Kamara took over. The superstar running back destroyed the Jets defense, going 48 yards in five touches. His beautiful cut-back opened a lane that he burst through on his 16-yard touchdown run. The Saints took a 10-3 lead.
To conclude the final drive of the first half, the Jets hit a 46-yard field goal right before halftime. New Orleans entered the break with an ugly 10-6 lead thanks to Kamara and a strong defensive performance.
After the Saints went three-and-out to start the second half, New York drove just past midfield, but a sack by linebacker Kwon Alexander on third down forced them to punt.
The Saints offense marched on an extended drive that took over nine minutes off the clock in the third quarter. After driving into the red zone, New Orleans settled for a 31-yard field goal by Maher.
On the last play of the third quarter, Saints defensive end Carl Granderson got a sack on third down that forced another punt by the Jets.
Starting at midfield, Hill converted a big third down with a 21-yard completion to wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith. However, the Saints settled for Maher's third field goal of the game. The lead expanded to two possessions at 16-6.
The Saints defense forced a turnover on downs at midfield on the next drive and the offense put the game away. A two-yard touchdown run by Hill finished off an eight-play, 51-yard scoring drive that pushed the lead to 23-6 late in the fourth quarter.
New York hit a field goal with three minutes remaining to get the game back to two possessions, but, after a Saints punt, the Jets turned the ball over on downs again.
Hill put the finishing touches on the victory with a 44-yard touchdown run on their final offensive drive of the game.
A furious attempt by the Jets to score a garbage-time touchdown came up one yard short as time expired. The Saints won 30-9 to break their five-game losing streak.
The return of Kamara was essential to the victory. He had 120 rushing yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. He also caught four passes for 25 yards.
Hill had a nice bounce-back performance after his four-turnover night against the Cowboys. He had 175 yards on an efficient 15-21 passing. He also ran for 73 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. Another big statistic was zero turnovers. The Saints offense may have looked ugly at times, but they took care of the ball.
Up next, New Orleans travels to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Sunday Night Football on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 7:20 p.m.