Check out the game actions between the Saints and Chargers in Week 4.
I read Twitter.
I say that to explain that I know what were your feelings with 6:50 left in the Saints-Chargers game Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium, with San Diego in possession of the football at its own 10-yard line, leading 34-21 and New Orleans needing a near-perfect storm in order to rally for its first victory of the season after three losses.
Many – comfortably, I'll say the overwhelming majority, a landslide vote – had given up.
That was logical, even understandable, given that the Saints already had lost three spirit-sappers by the skin of their teeth (35-34 to Oakland, 16-13 to the Giants and 45-32 to Atlanta), each attributable to one error here, two mistakes there.
In all, literally, New Orleans probably was about a handful of plays away from being 3-0 or 2-1. Thus, most felt that those handful of plays that hadn't previously been made, similarly wouldn't be forthcoming in order to turn the tide against the Chargers.
Fortunately for the Saints, safeties Kenny Vaccaroand Vonn Bellweren't ready to cash in. Because if they had gone through the motions rather than sought a remedy, New Orleans might not have turned around Sunday's game with two touchdowns and three turnovers in the final 6:50, to escape San Diego with a 35-34 victory.
On first down from the 10, Chargers running back Melvin Gordontook a handoff from quarterback Philip Riversand ran toward his right guard. He met a wall there, and shifted his direction to the left and there, Vaccaro and Bell closed in.
First, Vaccaro reached Gordon from the left and his hit assured that the progress was about to cease. Then, Bell arrived from the right and jarred the ball loose with an assault aimed at Gordon's right arm, where the ball was secured.
The blow popped the ball free, defensive end Darryl Tapprecovered at the 13-yard line and the Saints had completed the first step in a five-step process that flawlessly had to be executed in the final 6:50 in order for them to win – defensive stop, touchdown, defensive stop, touchdown and, if time remained, one more defensive stop.
The remainder of the process followed the improbable script; New Orleans scored a touchdown, recovered another fumble (linebacker Nate Stupar), scored another touchdown, and got a final defensive stop on an interception by cornerback B.W. Webb.
But Vaccaro and Bell got the ball rolling, literally. And from there, their teammates helped pick it up and ran with it.