Jacksonville, Fla. - The New Orleans Saints pushed their winning streak to four games Sunday at TIAA Bank Field with a gritty 13-6 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Saints improved to 5-1 and kept their one-game lead over the Carolina Panthers (4-2) in the NFC South even with franchise quarterback Drew Brees missing his fourth consecutive game while recovering from thumb surgery.
With the offense struggling, the defense won the game, as end Cameron Jordan had two big sacks (tying him for third all-time in franchise history with 76.5) and cornerback Marshon Lattimore intercepted Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew, the first time he had been intercepted in his short NFL career. The defense also forced an incompletion on fourth-and-two for the Jaguars on the Saints' 40-yard line with 9:10 to play. The defense held the Jags to 226 yards of offense and only allowed them to convert 4-of-14 third-down attempts. It was the third consecutive game the defense held an opponent to under 300 yards of offense.
"I told our defense I felt like if we had played eight quarters they wouldn't have scored a touchdown today," Coach Sean Payton said at his postgame press conference.
Jacksonville star running back Leonard Fournette finished with 72 yards rushing, making it 32 consecutive games of the Saints not allowing an opposing player to rush for more than 100 yards.
The Jaguars (3-3) lost tight end Geoff Swaim to a concussion in the fourth quarter after he took a hard - but clean - hit from Saints linebacker Demario Davis after he a caught a pass on a crossing route. Swaim was able to walk off the field.
Punter Thomas Morstead had another strong outing with six punts for 248 yards, with five of the punts leaving Jacksonville inside its 20-yard line. Kicker Wil Lutz made both of his attempts, from 47 and 21 yards, which for most of the game was all of the Saints' points. Bridgewater was far from spectacular but made the throws when they counted, including eight completions to Michael Thomas for 89 yards. Running back Alvin Kamara, playing with an injured ankle, ran 11 times for 31 yards.
The Saints will travel to Chicago to take on the Bears (3-2) at Soldier Field next Sunday, Oct. 20. The Bears will be coming off of a bye week.