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Team Report: Inside Slant

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Everyone knows it's been a rough year for the Saints, but as their long-suffering fans know, they can be their own worst enemy at times. Like in the final quarter of Saturday's 13-12 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Saints ...

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Old 12-28-2005, 09:26 AM   #1
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Team Report: Inside Slant

Everyone knows it's been a rough year for the Saints, but as their long-suffering fans know, they can be their own worst enemy at times.

Like in the final quarter of Saturday's 13-12 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Saints (3-12) gave up three big plays on defense and failed to execute a play on offense that could have given them a better opportunity to win for only the fourth time this season.
As a result of those miscues in crunch time, the Saints didn't have anyone to blame but themselves for this one -- unlike their 34-31, last-second loss to the Atlanta Falcons on another field goal as time expired.

In that game, the Saints were penalized for holding on Todd Peterson's missed 41-yard field-goal attempt. That gave Peterson another opportunity at a 36-yard game-winner, which prompted coach Jim Haslett to call out the officiating crew.

The record will show that three passes from Joey Harrington to Roy Williams led to two Lions field goals, including Jason Hanson's 39-yard game-winner on the final play, but the Saints offense also played a role in Detroit's win.

The first pass, a 49-yarder, led to a Hanson field goal and a 10-9 lead. The other two, which were far more costly, came after John Carney's fourth field goal of the day gave the Saints the lead at 12-10.

The Lions faced a fourth-and-17 situation from their own 24 with 37 seconds left when Harrington went to Williams, who outjumped Mike McKenzie for the ball and a 40-yard gain. Three plays later, the same two connected for a 15-yard gain on third-and-10 to bring Hanson on.

But the offense also has to take some of the heat, as a late drive to a first-and-goal at the Lions 4 netted only Carney's fourth field goal.

Not only did they not score a touchdown in a game for the fourth time this season, but the Saints also stopped the clock for the Lions when Todd Bouman couldn't find an open receiver and threw the ball out of the end zone on third down.

That saved about 40 seconds for the Lions, who had no timeouts left, and gave Harrington enough time to move the ball 60 yards in the final 1:52 to the winning kick.

"We had opportunities and we didn't make them," Haslett said. "We just didn't make plays when we had to make them."

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