Saints win after missed extra point

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks to pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of the NFC Divisional Playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 14, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Baltimore, Md. — Ravens kicker, Justin Tucker, hadn’t missed an extra point in his 222 career attempts in the NFL. That changed Sunday, when his game-tying point after attempt sailed wide right with 24 seconds to play in the game. With the miss, the Saints held-on to beat the Ravens 24-23 for their 5th-straight victory.

Highlighting the win for New Orleans was another historic performance from Drew Brees, who became just the third NFL quarterback to beat all 32 teams. Brees and also Sean Payton, had never beaten the Ravens until Sunday’s win. Also, in the second quarter, Brees threw his 500th career touchdown pass, connecting with Benjamin Watson for a one-yard score. He added another in the 4th quarter to Michael Thomas, putting him now at 501 for his career. Brees joins Peyton Manning (539), Brett Favre (508) and Tom Brady (504) as the only quarterbacks to reach that milestone.

The Saints set the tone early with aggressive play calling, which included at fake punt and three 4th down conversions on their opening drive. That first drive ultimately ended in a turnover inside the 10, but the Ravens were not able to take that and turn it into any points.

Brees’ historic touchdown pass to Watson gave the Saints their first lead of the game at 7-3, but the Ravens took the 10-7 lead with 4 seconds to play before halftime on a Lamar Jackson keeper from a yard out.  It was Jackson’s first career NFL touchdown.

Baltimore added to their lead in the third quarter, when Joe Flacco hit Mark Andrews for an 8-yard score. The Ravens, who had not allowed an opponent to score a touchdown in the second half of any game this season, kept the Saints off the board in the third quarter, but the Saints found some offensive life in the 4th. On a drive that actually started at the end of the third, Alvin Kamara capped-off a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 2-yard score to make it a 3-point game at 17-14. New Orleans forced Baltimore to punt on their ensuing drive and then marched down the field to score again.  Brees connected with Thomas for the 5-yard score to give the Saints their first lead since the second quarter, up 21-17 with 5 minutes to play.

Will Lutz pushed that lead to 24-17 with a 39-yard field goal with 2 minutes to play, and that’s when the Ravens proceeded to march down the field and score on the John Brown 14-yard touchdown reception. Trailing 24-23 with 24 seconds to play, Tucker lined-up for the routine extra point and missed it wide to the right.

The Saints (5-1) now travel to take-on the Vikings in week 8 in the Sunday night match-up on October 28th.