Story by Brad Friedman*
The Saints saved the best for last in this week's *Madden 17 *simulation.
Two fourth-quarter touchdowns broke open what was a mostly tight game against the Denver Broncos, sending the Saints to a 34-20 home win.
Tim Hightower kicked off the fourth quarter push, shaking off a Brandon Marshall tackle en route to a 4-yard touchdown to extend New Orleans's lead to 27-13. The back-breaker came two drives later when Drew Brees linked up with Coby Fleener for an 8-yard score, putting the game largely out of reach at 34-13.
Denver responded quickly on the ensuing drive, marching down the field on 6 plays to set up a Devontae Booker one-yard touchdown run. However, Denver's comeback hopes fell flat when Sterling Moore picked off when Trevor Siemian on the Broncos' next drive, allowing New Orleans to run out the clock.
That interception was Siemian's second of the game. The first came on Denver's opening drive when Kenny Vaccaro jumped an Emmanuel Sanders route and took the interception back 11 yards for the score.
Vaccaro's touchdown stood as the only score for either team until the second quarter when Denver and New Orleans traded field goals and touchdowns. Wil Lutz and Brandon McManus 32 and 45-yard field goals, respectively, were followed by Booker and Michael Thomas touchdowns; Booker's a one-yard run and Thomas's a 9-yard grab.
The team's traded field goals in the third before New Orleans's late surge secured the victory.
Key Saints Performers
Drew Brees: 24-34, 302 yards, 2 TDs
Tim Hightower: 16 rush, 79 yards, 1TD
Michael Thomas: 6 rec, 98 yards, 1 TD
Coby Fleener: 4 rec, 64 yards, 1TD
Kenny Vaccaro: 8 tackles, 1 INT