Sunday’s game between the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins was a game of two halves. The first half was one that the Saints would have just soon forgot existed as first downs seemed as elusive as a desert mirage; as a result, New Orleans found themselves down by 21 early in the second half. Then they woke up. They would score 36 second half points as they rallied to defeat the pesky Dolphins 46-34 at Land Shark Stadium.
Things were bumpy initially for New Orleans as by their fifth offensive play, they had committed three penalties. Miami would capitalize as running back Williams scored twice in the opening period from 4 and 68 yards – sandwiching a 46-yard field goal by Saints kicker John Carney – giving the Dolphins a 10-7 lead going into the second quarter.
The scoring for Miami would continue as a 32-yard FG by kicker Dan Carpenter followed by an 8-yard TD run by Ronnie Brown would pad their lead to 24-3; Saints quarterback Drew Brees would punch it in from a yard out, narrowing their deficit to 24-10 with 2 ticks left in the first half.
The third quarter found both teams exchanging scores as New Orleans safety Darren Sharper grabbed a Chad Henne interception and scored from 42 yards, narrowing Miami’s lead to 24-17; Carpenter would kick a 33-yard FG 8 minutes later, giving the Dolphins a 27-17 edge. Brees would connect with wide receiver Marques Colston on a 10-yard scoring pass, reducing their deficit to 3 with 1:09 left in the period. But Williams would score another rushing TD from 4 yards out, extending Miami’s lead to 34-24 going into the fourth quarter. That’s when the Saints would explode.
They would score 22 unanswered points in the final period as RB Reggie Bush dashed into the end zone from 10 yards out (very acrobatic, I might add); Brees would run in for a score at the 8:35 mark of the game, giving New Orleans their first lead of the game. Carney would boot a 20-yard chip shot then defense would get involved as cornerback Tracy Porter took a Henne intereception 54 yards for a score, sealing the win for the Saints.
Brees, despite the win, had his worst game of the season, going 22-of-38 for 298 with a passing TD but 3 INTs but also rushing for 2 scores; Henne didn’t do any better as he went 18-of-36 for 211 yards and a pair of INTs. Mike Bell led all Saints rushers with 80 yards on just 12 carries while Williams led the Dolphins’ rushing attack with 80 yards and 3 TDs; Ronnie Brown added 48 yards and a score.
Tight end Jeremy Shockey led all Saints receivers with 4 receptions for 105 yards while Colston caught 5 passes for 72 yards and a score; Devery Henderson caught 4 passes for 71 yards. Brian Hartline led the Miami receiving corps with 3 receptions for 94 yards while Greg Camarillo added 55 yards on 5 receptions. The Saints won the game with a price as defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis was forced to leave the game in the second quarter with a sprained right knee. New Orleans (6-0) looks to remain undefeated as they return home to host division rival Atlanta next Monday night while Miami (2-4) goes to New York next Sunday to face the Jets.