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Turning Point of the Game

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Dwayne Washington's deflected punt provided early boost New Orleans Saints needed against Colts

Washington's deflection was Saints' fourth punt deflection or block this season

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The New Orleans Saints host the Indianapolis Colts at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday, December 16, 2019.

Where did the game turn for the New Orleans Saints in their 34-7 victory over Indianapolis on Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome?

All due respect to the Colts, they probably were done when San Francisco's game-winning field goal in a 48-46 victory over the Saints sailed through the uprights as time expired. Because at that very moment, New Orleans (11-3) was itching to get back on the field and unleash its frustration.

Indianapolis (6-8) happened to be the next man up.

But since we're duty bound to pencil in a play from New Orleans' most lopsided victory of the season, we'll go with this one: Running back Dwayne Washington showed that the Saints meant business the first time the Colts attempted to punt.

Actually, the first two times, because Washington forced a holding penalty on Indianapolis' first punt attempt, which led to a 10-yard penalty. But when the Colts then lined up to punt again, from their 39-yard line on fourth-and-19, Washington refused to go through the motions.

The first time, he rushed from the right. The second time, he rushed from the left and produced an even better result. Because the second time, not only did Washington force another holding penalty, he still managed to deflect the punt.

Indianapolis recovered at its 33-yard line, but Washington had created a short-field possession for New Orleans' offense on its first drive. The Saints didn't cash in with a touchdown, but Wil Lutz' 33-yard field goal gave them a 3-0 lead and Washington's deflection – the Saints' fourth blocked or deflected punt of the season – gave New Orleans all the boost it would need.

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