Saints overcome Browns, 17-10, in bitterly cold Cleveland

Saints tight end Taysom Hill (7) carries Cleveland Browns defenders into the end zone for an...
Saints tight end Taysom Hill (7) carries Cleveland Browns defenders into the end zone for an 8-yard rushing touchdown during the second half Saturday (Dec. 24) in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)(David Richard | AP)
Published: Dec. 24, 2022 at 2:52 PM CST
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CLEVELAND (WVUE) - It was tough to tell what was the Saints’ biggest achievement Saturday, that they won their Christmas Eve game, or that they survived it.

Stepping far outside the climate-controlled comfort of Caesars Superdome, the Saints overcame both the elements and the Cleveland Browns, 17-10, at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The Saints improved to 6-9, keeping pace with Carolina and moving within a half-game of the division-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South. The Buccaneers play their Week 16 game at Arizona on Christmas night.

Saturday’s game was officially the coldest regular-season home game in Cleveland’s franchise history. The game kicked off with the temperature at 6 degrees and the wind-chill factor making it feel like 12-below.

The Browns (6-9) seemed more suited to the frigid conditions early, jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter after both teams shivered through a scoreless opening period.

After former LSU star Grant Delpit intercepted a deflected Andy Dalton pass, Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson scampered for a 12-yard touchdown run at the start of the second quarter and Cade York kicked a 30-yard field goal with 4:11 left in the period for the 10-point lead.

The Saints managed a 23-yard field goal by Wil Lutz with 3 seconds left in the first half to cut the deficit to 10-3.

New Orleans stormed ahead with two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter.

Taysom Hill scored the first, breaking a tackle and dragging three Browns defenders into the end zone with 9:45 left in the third. Lutz’s extra point tied the game 10-10.

Alvin Kamara put the Saints ahead for the first time with 1:01 left in the third, scoring on a 4-yard rush to the left side for a 17-10 lead.

The Browns made a final push, reaching the Saints’ 15-yard line with 26 seconds to play. But on 4th-and-10, Carl Granderson chased down a scrambling Watson for a sack that essentially won the game.

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