NEW ORLEANS, LA. (WLOX) - Thirty seven seconds.
If it’s enough time for Tom Brady, you can bet it’s enough time for Drew Brees. After falling behind to Houston for the third time in Monday nights season opener, the 19-year veteran led the Saints down the field, using five plays, covering 35 yards to setup a 58-yard walk-off field goal by Wil Lutz to give New Orleans a 30-28 victory.
“I said this prior to the game. This is going to be a game that is going to have mistakes but lets make sure that we are playing hard," Saints head coach Sean Payton told WLOX. “This momentum lets try and ride it when we have it and then quickly recapture it and I was proud of how they did that tonight.”
After missing a 56-yard field goal towards the end of the first half, Wil Lutz told his teammates he wouldn’t miss again. Not only did he not miss, but he set a new career long with his 58-yard game winner.
“I got to be honest that one felt a little different," Saints kicker Wil Lutz, who hit a perfect 5-for-5 in field goals and extra points after the missed 56-yard attempt, said.
"I try and treat every kick the same and I felt like I treated that one like any other kick. Obviously I am confident in what I do. I am confident in my operation. I knew with 37 seconds left that we would have an opportunity to get at least close to field goal range and in that situation there isn’t any kick that I would turn down. That has got to be a top one moment for me.”
The Black and Gold defense put pressure on Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson the entire game, sacking him six times, while Drew Brees remained upright. The Saints offensive line only allowed one sack Monday night and it didn’t come from Houston’s Pro Bowl defense end J.J. Watt, whose final stat line had zero sacks, quarterback pressures and not a single tackle.
Another controversial mistake by officials nearly cost New Orleans. The Saints should’ve had 15 more seconds to work with during their hurry-up drive in the first half that resulted in Lutz missed field goal from 56 yards. The league admitted the error after the game. Given what happened the last time the Saints were in the Superdome, Brees said it was unacceptable.
“That can’t happen. That is a game changer," Brees - who threw 370 yards for two touchdowns and one interception against Houston -told WLOX. "We had to kick a 58 yard field goal or attempt a 58 yarder, that is a game changer and that can’t happen.”
Now having won their first season opening game since 2013, New Orleans will now hit the road for a “revenge game” against the Los Angeles Rams after what happened with the “NOLA No-Call” last season, with only five days to prepare.