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Successful Hail Mary helped propel New Orleans Saints past Washington on Sunday | Turning Point of the Game

49-yard touchdown pass at end of second quarter gave Saints lead they never relinquished

Washington cornerback William Jackson III figured the New Orleans Saints would set up for a field goal.

It wasn't an outlandish notion, at all.

With eight seconds remaining in the first half, the Saints facing first-and-10 from the Washington 49 after a 13-yard punt return by running back Alvin Kamara, score tied at 13 and New Orleans looking for just a little momentum to carry into halftime, Washington's defense surmised a field goal would be the logical pursuit for the Saints.

Except, that wasn't at all what was on New Orleans' agenda.

When quarterback Jameis Winston took the shotgun snap, the pass rush flushed him to the right but once he planted his feet, Winston uncorked a deep rainbow for the end zone, instead of a line drive for the sideline. And receiver Marquez Callaway was the pot of gold at the end of it.

Callaway positioned himself in front of several Washington defenders, perfectly timed his leap and cradled the football in both hands as time expired in the first half. And with that lightning strike, the Saints scored the final 13 points of the first half, took a 20-13 lead and never relinquished that momentum as they posted a 33-22 victory at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

"We were just trying to make a play and wasn't expecting them to go Hail Mary right there," Jackson said. "A regular football team will try to get a couple yards and try to kick a field goal, but they called the right play at the right time."

It was among several "irregular" occurrences Sunday for the Saints, and perhaps the biggest of which helped lead to New Orleans' third victory in five games – all away from the Caesars Superdome.

The New Orleans Saints take on the Washington Football Team in Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season on October 10, 2021.

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