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Saints Gobble Up Cowboys 30-27

From the feel of this game, nobody would’ve guessed that the Cowboys were all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs prior to this game. The matchup has been one of the most anticipated for the Saints and their fans since the schedule was released. Ever since Dallas handed New Orleans their first loss to ruin their aspirations of an undefeated season last year, payback has been the one word on the minds of everyone in Who Dat Nation. This Thanksgiving Day matchup would not be a disappointment for anyone watching.

The Saints dominated the first half,  jumping out to a 17-0 lead early.  Drew Brees got things heated up to start the game with a 57-yard bullet to Devery Henderson.  A couple of plays later, Chris Ivory pounded his way into the endzone.  Hartley hit  the PAT; the Saints led 7-0.

On Dallas’ ensuing possession, they tried to get fancy on offense to throw the Saints defense off balance, but DE Will Smith wasn’t fooled. He came down with an unlikely interception from the botched screen from Jon Kitna.  Smith fumbled on the return, but Tracy Porter recovered the ball, setting Brees and company up with some excellent field position.  The Saints got 3 points off the turnover when Garrett Hartley nailed a 50-yard field goal.  The Saints went up 10-0.

On the Saints next drive, Brees hit Henderson again, this time with a 22-yard bomb to set up another Ivory score from 6 yards out.  New Orleans went up 17-0.  That’s when it started to look like a blowout in the making.  The Saints had moved the ball up and down the field seemingly at will and there was nothing the Cowboys could do about.  And on the flip side, the defense was holding Dallas in check.  The game couldn’t have progressed much more perfectly at that point.  Still, the Cowboys were able to string together a couple of productive drives and avoid being shut out.  The score was 20-6 at halftime in favor of the Saints.

But whatever adjustments the Cowboys made at halftime, they must’ve been the right ones.   They came out firing to start the second half when Miles Austin took an end-around 60 yards for the score, cutting the Saints lead to 20-13 and ramping up momentum for Dallas.  The Saints kept swiping the momentum away from them, however, by continuing to move the ball at will.  The impressive drive effectively died when Reggie Bush dropped a would-be touchdown in the redzone, leaving the Saints to have to settle for another Hartley field goal.  The score was then 23-13.

The Saints defense held its own once again to give the ball back to the offense, but no one knew disaster was about to strike.  On the punt return, Bush was blindsided and subsequently fumbled the ball which was recovered by the Cowboys, giving them a very short field.  After holding Dallas out of the endzone for three downs, the Saints defense couldn’t keep Marion Barber from getting in on 4th and 1.  The score was cut to 23-20.

Things didn’t get any better for the Saints after the two mishaps by Bush even though the offense still moved the ball pretty well.  Payton went for it on 4th and 5, but was unsuccessful to end the 3rd quarter.  Dallas took over on their own 34-yard-line and brought all the momentum with them to start the 4th quarter.

The Cowboys rallied on in the fourth quarter.  After Gerald Sensabaugh intercepted Brees when rookie TE Jimmy Graham let the ball slip through and deflect off his fingertips, Dallas was poised to take the lead.  And that’s just what they did when Tashard Choice squirted in from less than a yard out for  the touchdown.  Dallas led 27-23.

I can remember thinking at this point that our team was in trouble, but I had faith that they could still win it.  Yet offensively the Saints couldn’t get anything rekindled and the defense was starting to look tired.  With 3:03 left on the clock and the game slowly slipping away from the Saints, Kitna threw a strike to Roy Williams who just bolted down the field to seemigly salt the game away for the Cowboys.  However, Malcolm Jenkins would have something to say about it.  Jenkins made one of the most heroic, heads up plays ever when he stripped and took the ball away from Williams to breathe new life into the Saints’ dying hopes.  Brees and company took full advantage.

On the ensuing play from scrimmage, Brees threw a strike to Colston in coverage to put the defending Superbowl champs back in a position to start thinking winning the game.  Then on 3rd and 10, Brees hit Meachem with a 55-yarder, setting the Saints up very managably on the 12-yard-line.  Moments later, the Saints were back on top when Brees found Lance Moore in the endzone.  Perhaps their most impressive of the year, that drive went 89 yards in only five plays!   That goes to show  just exactly what the Saints offense is capable of when clicking on all cylinders.  They can be absolutely dynamic at times.

Dallas tried to find a miracle of their own but came up short when David Buehler missed a 59-yard field goal wide left.  The Saints held on to win 30-27.  Drew Brees was awarded the Gobbler Trophy as the Thanksgiving game day MVP.  He finished the day with 352 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception.

Right now, the Saints are looking very sharp as a whole.  However, I don’t think anyone will deny that they can do without all the turnovers.  It’s not something we’re used to seeing from them.  But after watching how methodically they moved the ball against a still very talented Cowboys team, my faith in them is fortified.  The defense is starting to create turnovers again and they are getting healthy.  When the ball-hawk, Darren Sharper gets back, some of those giveaways will become takeaways which will be even better still.  As the offense continues to reclaim its swagger and the defense continues to hold things down, the Saints should finally emerge in the conversation regarding the best teams in the NFC.  We knew it all along.  Now everyone else does too.  The Saints are on a four game winning streak and cruising at 8-3.  Not bad for a team who many thought would be too overwhelmed by their first Superbowl experience to even make a playoff run, huh?

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9 Responses to “Saints Gobble Up Cowboys 30-27”

  1. Joan Krupicka says:

    Great summary! I was worried, but keeping the faith! Our champs did what champs do…..find a way to win! Congrats to our Saints, and thanks for a happy Saintsgiving!

    • Yes indeed! Congratulations are in order for a hard-fought victory. Sometimes I don’t think the Saints even realize how good they are or how good they can be. That was a great win, certainly a much-needed win just to keep pace in the NFC. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Pasquale says:

    Yea I’m happy we got the win!!!! Bush did piss me off but it’s his first game back so will see what he has next week . WHO DAT !!!!!!

    • Thanks for your ocmment. I know the couple of mishaps from Bush were scary, but it’s going to take a little time to get him worked back into the offense. I think what we saw was a bit of rust. Reggie is going to be fine and so will the Saints. And you’re right–next week will really tell the tale.

  3. Risha Holmes says:

    Whew, this game was a nail biter for me, but still exciting! I was trying to eat my turkey, and was feeling a bit sick until Mr. Jenkins saved the day! Brees kicked that opportunity in high gear and it was Katie bar the door! I got the pumpkin pie out then..I knew it was gonna be a Blessed Sainstgiving! WHO DAT! I THANKFUL 4 my boys in Black & Gold! Bless U Boys!

    • Oh my goodness! That game was one for the ages. Just when you think it was all but over, Malcolm Jenkins makes one heck of a play to give us all hope. But then you know they’ve got to score a touchdown because a field goal won’t do. Five plays later, they’re in the endzone. I tell you, I would have enjoyed a blowout, but a win like the one we got was so special. At times, the Saints are scary good. Thanks for your comment as always, Risha. I really enjoyed it.

  4. John Young says:

    was a great game. has anyone got an injury update on my boy sharper? im wanting to know if its serious? and how long he is expected to be out for?

    • I’m curious about Sharper as well. All they’re saying is that he has a hamstring injury. He’d tweeted soon after he got the injury that he was fine, but obviously we see that isn’t the case. I hope he’s able to come back soon because his presence changes the whole scheme of the defense by the way he reacts to the ball. We need him.

  5. Pasquale says:

    Not sure what’s going on with Sharper, probably won’t hear anything until Tuesday or so. Anyone notice how badly patrick Robinson was getting beat by Roy Williams. I like the kid but it’s a little scary having him out there , I think he’s gonna be a great player one day along with jerkins .By the way I’m going to see the giants lose to the jags 2moro. Should help the saints out a bit.

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