The New Orleans welcomed the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Caesars Superdome for Thursday Night Football. After falling in a 24-9 hole after three quarters, the Saints scratched all the way back to tie the game. However, a late touchdown from Jacksonville and a missed touchdown pass from the Saints at the end kept New Orleans from getting a win on Thursday night, 31-24.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Jacksonville Jaguars opened the Thursday night contest with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown run from Jennings native Travis Etienne Jr. to put the Jags up 7-0 early.
The Saints answered with a strong drive that stalled at the Jacksonville 32 but Blake Grupe would miss his fourth kick of the season, this time from 51 yards out to keep it a 7-0 contest.
On the first play of the ensuing Jaguars drive, Christian Kirk caught a pass for 19 yards, but the ball was punched out by Paulson Adebo and recovered by Carl Granderson to give the Saints the football back. New Orleans would fail to get anything going with a quick three-and-out.
On the punt, a Jaguars blocker ran into their punt returner Jamal Agnew, and forced the second turnover in four plays. The Saints started that drive inside the red zone but had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Grupe to put New Orleans on the board at 7-3.
The Jaguars opened the second quarter with Etienne scoring again from 17 yards out to make it a 14-3 game. On the next New Orleans drive, the Saints once again settled for a field goal, this time from 35 yards out that put it back at a touchdown difference with a 14-6 score.
Jacksonville marched down the field once again at the end of the half to let Brandon McManus take those points right back with a 43-yard field goal that put the Saints behind 17-6 at the halftime break.
New Orleans then got the ball back to start the second half and went down the field in the first five minutes of the third quarter, but again settled for a 42-yard field goal from Grupe. After a quick stop from the Saints’ defense, Derek Carr threw a pass that was intended for Rashid Shaheed but was deflected and intercepted by Foyesade Oluokun and returned 24 yards for a touchdown to increase Jacksonville’s lead to 24-9.
The Saints finally got into the endzone with a 16-play drive that went 75 yards and took nearly eight minutes off the clock before Taysom Hill ran it in from one yard out on fourth and goal to make it 24-16.
The Saints defense made another big defensive stop, sacking Trevor Lawrence on 3rd and 8 to give New Orleans the football once again. The Saints went down the field quickly and efficiently, scoring on a three-play drive that included three great passes from Carr. The drive was capped off with a 17-yard pass to Michael Thomas, his second catch of the drive, to make it a 24-22 game. Then, the Saints went for two and were successful with a pick play to Alvin Kamara that tied the game at 24 a piece.
After a pair of three-and-outs, Jacksonville got a big play from Christian Kirk when Lawrence found him on a crossing pattern and he took off on a 44-yard touchdown pitch and catch to make it 31-24 with three minutes remaining.
The Saints drove all the way down to the six yard drive, but a dropped pass from Foster Moreau and a pass deflection on fourth and goal kept the Saints from tying the game and the Jaguars woud hang on to win 31-24.
BIG NUMBER: 15
The New Orleans Saints scored 15 points in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough as the Jaguars pick up their first ever win in the Superdome 31-24.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Travis Etienne Jr
The former Jennings High standout returned to the Bayou State and put on a show, racking up 77 yards from scrimmage and both offensive touchdowns Jacksonville had in the game.
UP NEXT: The Saints have a mini-bye before heading to Indianapolis to play the Colts on October 29. Kickoff for that contest is scheduled for Noon.