Burrow, Chase lead Bengals past Saints, 30-26

Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (10) catches a touchdown pass against Cincinnati Bengals...
Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (10) catches a touchdown pass against Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton (21) during the first half Sunday (Oct. 16). (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)(Gerald Herbert | AP)
Published: Oct. 16, 2022 at 3:05 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase made their return to the Caesars Superdome memorable, connecting on a 60-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter Sunday (Oct. 16) to lead the Cincinnati Bengals over the Saints, 30-26.

The Saints (2-4) had not trailed the entire game, until the former LSU stars hooked up on the game-deciding scoring play with 1:57 left in the contest.

The last time Burrow and Chase played in the Superdome (Jan. 13, 2020), they connected for 221 yards and two touchdowns in LSU’s 42-25 national championship triumph over Clemson. Burrow sought to channel those vibes Sunday by wearing Chase’s jersey from that game when he arrived at the Dome, and eventually conjured the same magic.

Burrow completed 28 of 37 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns. Chase caught seven of those passes for 132 yards and two scores, including the game-winner that he caught near the 50-yard line before shedding two tackles.

The Saints played without starting quarterback Jameis Winston, top cornerback Marshon Lattimore and their top three wide receivers: Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and rookie Chris Olave.

Both teams dragged disappointing 2-3 records into the game, but the Bengals’ three previous losses were decided by field goals converted on the final play of those games.

Cincinnati trailed 23-14 until Burrow and Chase hooked up for their first scoring play, a 15-yard TD pass with 3:30 left in the third quarter. Evan McPherson’s extra point cut the Bengals’ deficit to 23-21.

The Saints’ Wil Lutz kicked the last of his four field goals -- a 31-yarder -- to stretch the Saints’ lead to 26-21 with 11:07 left in the game. But Cincinnati responded with a 52-yard field goal by McPherson to bring the Bengals back within two points at 26-24 with 3:41 to play.

The Saints gained only six yards on their next possession, and were forced to punt with 2:16 to play. Blake Gillikin’s punt went out of bounds just 29 yards downfield, giving the Bengals excellent field position from which to mount their game-winning drive.

It didn’t take long. Burrow connected with Chase near the left sideline on the next play, and Chase willed himself into the end zone by shaking off two tacklers on his 60-yard sprint for the decisive points.

Trailing 30-26, the Saints only made it to the Bengals’ 41-yard line before Dalton was sacked for a 7-yard loss on third down. On fourth-and-17 from the Cincinnati 48, Dalton’s final pass intended for Marquez Callaway fell incomplete.

Dalton completed just 17 of 32 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. Alvin Kamara rushed 19 times for 99 yards and caught six passes for an additional 25 yards, but did not score. And last Sunday’s four touchdown hero -- tight end Taysom Hill -- was contained to a quiet 39 yards on five carries. Hill also completed 2 of 4 passes for 16 yards.

The Saints took a 20-14 lead into halftime after Lutz kicked a 30-yard field goal with one second left.

New Orleans had built a 10-point lead in the first half, on the strength of an 18-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to Tre’Quan Smith, a 44-yard TD run by rookie running back Rashid Shaheed and a 35-yard Lutz field goal sandwiched around a 9-yard TD pass from Burrow to Joe Mixon.

The Bengals trimmed that 17-7 deficit to 17-14 after Burrow scrambled for a 19-yard score with 5:44 left in the second quarter. Burrow’s scoring run capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive.

The Saints jumped to an early 7-0 lead, after recovering a fumble by Cincinnati punt returner Trent Taylor, the former Louisiana Tech receiver. Three plays after the turnover, Dalton hit Smith with an 18-yard strike to the end zone with 10:33 left in the first quarter.

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