Most improbable win of the Sean Payton era? This one is right up there

Geaux Black and Gold

BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 14: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on during the second half of a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 14, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Saints have won with their backup quarterback before, but this was way different. With Taysom Hill inactive for the second straight game with a concussion, the Saints turned to quarterback Trevor Siemian, who had not thrown a touchdown pass in the NFL since 2017.

Siemian did enough. He was 16 of 29 passing for 159 yards and a one-yard touchdown pass to Alex Armah in the second quarter. Siemian, in the fourth quarter, led the Saints 70 yards on 12 plays to set up the go-ahead 23-yard field goal from Brian Johnson.

Sean Payton said Siemian’s cool reminded him of Ty Detmer. Detmer, a Heisman Trophy winner at BYU, was the quintessential backup, playing for 6 NFL teams, and in 14 seasons only 54 games.

But, he was ready, just like Siemian was when Jameis Winston went down with what’s believed to be a serious knee injury that will shelve him for the rest of the season.

“Here’s the hardest thing is to pay attention every week that you are going to be in that game when you are the two,” said Payton. “Every week, and you might do that for four years and go in a game. That’s pretty hard.”

So, the Saints won with their third quarterback throwing a pass this season, and their fifth field-goal kicker. But, the constant has been the defense.

Defensive end Cam Jordan said the Saints have been in this situation for the last three years.

“The leaders on the team, the juice we bring to practice has helped us to overcome these situations,” said Jordan.

After a brutal offseason, one with huge cuts due to the salary cap, the retirement of Drew Brees, the lingering ankle issues for wide receiver Michael Thomas, and the six-game suspension of David Onyemata, the Saints are five wins, and two losses, with wins over the two teams that played in last season’s NFC championship.

That’s real good. And, it speaks to the quality of the organization.

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