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John DeShazier's turning point from Saints-Broncos: blocked PAT

Another two-point conversion costs Saints a game

Twice this season, the New Orleans Saints have been defeated on a two-point conversion.

The first time wasn't like the second. According to the NFL, no time ever has been like the second.

In the season opener, Oakland quarterback Derek Carrconnected with receiver Michael Crabtreeon a conversion pass that gave the Raiders a 35-34 win that would have been an oddity only by virtue of the fact that the Raiders went for the win in regulation, rather than the tie to send the game into overtime.

Sunday's result came by a much stranger means than that.

Denver free safety Justin Simmons blocked Wil Lutz'spoint after attempt with 1:22 left that would potentially would have given the Saints a 24-23 lead in a drama-filled game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. And strong safety Will Parksscooped the carom and returned it for the opposing two-point conversion that proved to be the winning margin in Denver's 25-23 win, snapping New Orleans' two-game winning streak and pushing the Saints (4-5) below .500 on a day they could have pulled even with division-leading Atlanta (6-4) in the loss column.

Did Parks step out of bounds on the return? Officials determined that to be inconclusive, so the call on the field stood. Simmons cleanly hurdled Saints long snapper Justin Drescheren route to the block, but did teammate Jared Crick, a defensive end lined up inside, illegally pull down Drescher to help clear Simmons' path?

Those points became moot as soon as Parks' return stood and the Broncos recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the deal, because the Saints had no timeouts remaining.

Four Saints turnovers that led to 13 Broncos points didn't help New Orleans' cause, but partly the Saints were able to overcome those because they scored 10 points off the two turnovers they forced. But the blocked PAT erased the momentum, and proved to be the final separator between the teams.

From one point in favor of the Saints to take the lead, to two points against the Saints that gave Denver the win, it was a two-point conversion that long will be remembered in New Orleans.

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