The New Orleans Saints used big offensive plays in the first half and strong defense in the second half to beat the Washington Football Team 33-22.

With the win, the Saints improved to 3-2 in 2021 before their bye week.

New Orleans lost the coin toss and got the ball to open the game. On the fifth play of their opening possession, starting quarterback Jameis Winston threw an interception. The turnover set Washington up with short field, and a 45-yard field goal gave them an early 3-0 lead.

Out of the Saints 112 total first quarter yards, 72 of them came on a huge touchdown connection between Winston and wide receiver Deonte Harris that made it 7-3.

Washington answered with a long field goal drive to get within one point. On the next possession, the Saints offense gave away their second turnover of the game when Winston fumbled after being sacked by Washington defensive end Chase Young.

Following the turnover, Washington's offense was stopped near midfield, but a roughing the punter penalty extended the drive. They went on to score their first touchdown of the game early in the second quarter to re-capture the lead at 13-7.

Saints star running back Alvin Kamara took over on their second touchdown drive of the day. Kamara shot through a big hole to run for a 23-yard touchdown, but the extra point missed, so the score remained tied at 13-13.

Washington's offense continued their effective play, driving into the red zone, but rookie cornerback Paulson Adebo gave New Orleans their first defensive turnover of the game with an interception at the Saints two yard-line.

Winston couldn't get the Saints offense out of their bad field position, and they were forced to punt. The New Orleans defense came up big again by forcing a turnover on downs, but a sack derailed their next offensive possession and they punted.

Saints punter Blake Gillikin executed a beautiful 60-yard punt that pinned Washington at their own one yard-line. A quick three-and-out gave New Orleans one last possession in the first half, and, as time expired, Winston connected with wide receiver Marquez Callaway on a 49-yard touchdown to make it 20-13 going into halftime.

Both teams traded multiple punts to start the second half before Washington's rushing attack sparked a 14-play, 69-yard scoring drive that ended in a 24-yard field goal to cut the New Orleans lead to 20-16.

The third quarter was one to forget for the Saints offense. New Orleans only managed to gain 18 yards on 10 plays in the frame and opened the final quarter with a third-and-14. Winston scrambled for 12 yards, and the Saints punted at midfield to start the fourth quarter.

Gillikin came up big again for the Saints with another excellent 53-yard punt that was downed at the Washington two yard-line.

New Orleans cornerback PJ Williams recorded the defense's second interception of the day at the Washington 26 yard-line.

The Saints offense took advantage of the turnover, and Winston connected with Callaway for their second touchdown. The 12-yard strike made it 27-16 with about 12 minutes left in the game.

With 10 minutes left, on fourth-and-14 at midfield, Washington head coach Ron Rivera elected to go for it. A 26-yard completion kept the drive, and game, alive for the Football Team. After a questionable pass interference in the end zone on second-and-goal set them up at the one yard-line, Washington ran in for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was incomplete, so the Saints lead was 27-22.

On New Orleans' next possession, Winston was stopped short of the first down on a third down quarterback sneak. On fourth-and-one at their own 34-yard line, Saints head Coach Sean Payton kept the offense on the field. This time, Winston picked up the first down, and the offense started rolling.

A 32-yard completion to tight end Adam Trautman set up Winston's fourth touchdown of the game. He hit an open Kamara who strolled into the end zone with a 19-yard touchdown reception to stretch the lead to 33-22 late in the final frame.

The Saints defense forced a turnover on downs, and the offense ran out the clock for the 33-22 win.

Up next, the Saints have their bye week in week six. Their next game is on the road in week seven against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, Oct. 25 for a Monday Night Football showdown.

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